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date: 06 May 2021

Holt, Hosea E(dson)locked

  • William R. Lee


(b Ashburnham, MA, Feb 17, 1836; d Lexington, MA, Oct 18, 1898). American music educator and author. Holt learned to sing and play the violin in New England singing schools, music teaching institutes, and churches. He was a bandsman and stretcher-bearer in a Civil War militia unit from Boston for a few months, an experience that brought him into contact with trained Boston musicians. On discharge, he studied piano and voice at the Boston Music School with John W. Tufts and Benjamin F. Baker from 1863 to his graduation in 1865. In 1868 he joined the music staff of the Boston Public Schools and became a successful and well-known music supervisor under Luther Whiting Mason. He eventually partnered with John Tufts to produce the widely used Normal Music Course, with Tufts writing the exercises and instructions for the teaching methods that Holt had developed. For Holt, studying music consisted of learning to read music, and in his speeches and articles he adamantly opposed using rote songs or the Tonic Sol Fa system. Holt was highly respected as a leader of teachers and taught at Wheaton Seminary, Bridgewater Normal School, and at his own successful Lexington Summer Normal Music School (...

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