It was this strictness of musical atmosphere which was the foundation of my success later on. I never was permitted to let the slightest mistakes pass uncorrected when practicing, but was taught to correct and conquer even the most simple one immediately, while still but a child, I was instructed in carefulness; carefulness in holding the violin properly, in drawing the bow straight across the strings in order to produce a pure tone, and in placing the fingers correctly and firmly on the strings. It is astunding how many beginners on musical instruments are allowed to become careless, they themselves not realizing what it means or how much work will have to be undone and done over later on in life, To me this negligence in the case of a beginner in music is the same as that of a child who when beginning the study of the multiplication table is permitted to guess of results, such as two times two equals six, or seven times six equals sixteen, and so on.
The very first "guess" should be corrected and reasons explained; the child should be made to understand why twice two equals four. I classify all uncorrected errors as "microbes" which, although invisible to the naked eye, are deadly - even more deadly than an animal as big as an elephant.
One can run away or hide from or dodge an elephant, but not so with a microbe. These minute organisms multiply rapidly and in large number if not immediately driven out of the system.
That was the method of our father when instructing us boys in playing. He always was gentle; never harsh, but firm. He demonstrated exactly what he wanted us to do by playing it himself on the violin; showed us the artistic side of good, pure music, while making us realize that it was the same as the true sentiment in poetry and fine painting, thus constantly leading us to play in a refined manner as well as in an environment and atmosphere of music-refinement.