There is a little of Rayleigh in each of us, so we might benefit from some selective emulation, and educators might adopt some of the stimulations that contributed to Rayleigh’s success. As a child, Rayleigh loved dabbling in scientific experimental projects, but his formal education was greatly influenced by the contemporary view that mathematics was a respectable alternative to the classics. When he entered Cambridge, he was ‘‘decidedly less advanced in mathematical skills than the best of his contemporaries,’’ but this situation changed, largely due to the stimulus of the Cambridge environment, to an intrinsically competitive nature, and to the influence of one of the greatest educators of all time—Edward John Routh. Rayleigh was coached to solve problems, and he excelled at this. After graduation, Rayleigh embarked on a program of self‐education and developed a strategy for combining his love of experimentation with his more recently acquired problem‐solving skills. Details of this self‐education are related. Extensive illustrations are given of problems such as might have been presented to Rayleigh as a student, such as he might have presented to students himself, and such as might to good purpose be presented to acoustics students of today.