An upper-class female
learned such skills as those of a housewife, some French,
embroidery, dancing, drawing, and music.
This education took place in either boarding schools or at home, with private tutors.
In boarding schools...
the musical education was often poor. The teachers were not well-trained in music and there were not enough teachers to assist all of the students.
With private tutors...
the musical education was better. Fathers had to keep a careful watch, however, to keep the teachers from seducing the daughters.
In 18th-Century Novels
Music was valued because it kept women from becoming too knowledgeable. This is evident in the comments made by some of the men in Fanny Burney's Evelina. Mr. Lovel said "for I have an insuperable aversion to strength, either of body or mind, in a female." to which Lord Merton responded "For my part, deuce take me if ever I wish to hear a word of sense from a woman as long as I live!" (Burney, 394)
Once women were married, they often stopped playing instruments. In Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, it was said, "...and Marianne, who sang very well, at their request went through the chief of the songs which Lady Middleton had brought into the family on her marriage, and which perhaps had lain ever since in the same position on the pianoforte, for her ladyship had celebrated that event by giving up music..." (Leppert, 44).
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