„I know I shall be called heterodox, and that unseen lightning flashes and unheard thunderbolts will be playing around my head, when I say that women will never be profound students in any other department except music while they give four hours a day to the practice of music. I should by all means encourage every woman who is born with musical gifts to study music; but study it as a science and an art, and not as an accomplishment; and to every woman who is not musical, I should say, 'Don't study it at all;' you cannot afford four hours a day, out of some years of your life, just to be agreeable in company upon possible occasions. If for four hours a day you studied, year after year, the science of language, for instance, do you suppose you would not be a linguist? Do you put the mere pleasing of some social party, and the reception of a few compliments, against the mental development of four hours a day of study of something for which you were born? When I see that girls who are required by their parents to go through with the irksome practising really become respectable performers, I wonder what four hours a day at something which they loved, and for which God designed them, would do for them. I should think that to a real scientist in music there would be something mortifying in this rush of all women into music; as there would be to me if I saw every girl learning the constellations, and then thinking she was an astronomer!“
— Maria Mitchell
Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters and Journals (illustrated) by Maria Mitchell, 1896, p. 189.