1863–1924
illustration

Ju­ly 20, 1863, Brook­lyn, New York.

De­cem­ber 5, 1924, Or­ange, New Jer­sey.

portrait

William was the son of Will­iam Neid­ling­er and Sa­ra Higgs, and hus­band of Al­ice Ad­e­laide Max­well Sy­pher.

He stu­died with Dud­ley Buck and C. C. Mull­er in New York (1880–90).

Until 1896, he played the or­gan at St. Mi­chael’s Church in New York Ci­ty. He al­so con­duct­ed the Am­phi­on Male Cho­rus and the Ce­cil­ia Wo­men’s Cho­rus in Brook­lyn, and the Tre­ble Clef Club and Mann­heim Glee Club in Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia.

He went on to stu­dy with E. Dann­reu­ther in Lon­don (1896–98), then worked in Pa­ris as a sing­ing teach­er un­til 1901.

Returning to Am­er­i­ca, he set­tled in Chi­ca­go, Il­li­nois, where for sev­er­al years he was one of the most pro­mi­nent sing­ing teach­ers. Frank King Clark was one of his pu­pils and, for a time, his as­sist­ant.

The suc­cess of his Small Songs for Small Sing­ers, a stand­ard work for kin­der­gar­tens, turned his at­ten­tion to that line of com­po­si­tion and to child psy­chol­o­gy, which grad­u­al­ly ab­sorbed his in­ter­est to such an ex­tent that he prac­tic­al­ly aban­doned mu­sic. At one point, he es­tab­lished a school for han­di­capped child­ren in East Or­ange, New Jer­sey.

His works in­clude:

  1. The Birth­day of a King