Luther Whiting Mason

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Luther Whiting Mason

Luther Whiting Mason (born April 3, 1818 in Turner / Maine , † July 14, 1896 in Buckfield / Maine) was an American music teacher.

Mason studied at the Boston Academy of Music , where Lowell Mason , George Root and William Bradbury were among his teachers, two years at Gardner Lyceum and one year at Delaware College in Newark. From 1844 to 1853 he lived in Baltimore, where he directed the choir of St. Timoty's Episcopal Church and taught at St. Timoty's Hall and the Maryland Institute .

He then worked as a teacher in Louisville (1853-55), Cincinnati (1856-64) and Boston (1964-79), where he devoted himself to promoting school music teaching and published a number of textbooks, including Young Singer (1860), National Music Teacher (1871) and the three-volume National Music Course , one of the most important music educational works of the time in the USA. He was influenced by the German music teacher Christian Heinrich Hohmann , whose work Practical Course of Instruction in Singing was published in English translation in 1856, and the English music teacher Sarah Ann Glover , whose Tonic Sol Fa system he took over from John Curwen . His work gained increasing recognition and his writings were exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Chicago.

There he came into contact with Izawa Shūji , who was studying school music education in the USA on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of Education. At his mediation, he was invited to Japan in 1880 and taught at the Tokyo Normal School and the kindergarten of the Tokyo Normal Woman School . He was honored many times in Japan, gave concerts at the Imperial Court, received a private audience from the Empress, an award from the University of Tokyo and became Imperial Advisor. His songs based on Japanese texts became known as the Mason Song .

In 1882 Mason returned to the USA via Europe. There he revised his National Music Course , which appeared in a new edition in 1885. From 1888 to 1892 he stayed in Germany. Here he mainly studied the training of the Berlin Cathedral Choir under the direction of Albert Becker and the school music lessons in Leipzig. In 1891 he gave a lecture at the meeting of the Leipzig Music Teachers' Association. From 1893 he taught at the Emma A. Thomas School in Detroit. In 1894 he met Osbourne McConathy , on whom he had a significant influence and who became one of the most important music educators of the 20th century.