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Recommend a good piano teacher in the RG8 postcode (South Oxfordshire)

(10 Posts)
CookieDoughKid Wed 19-Mar-14 17:09:30

Can anyone recommend a good piano teacher in the RG8 postcode (South Oxfordshire)? Goring/Streatley/Pangbourne/Wallingford/Cholsey/Nearby??

I'd like to start my little girl on a music journey of appreciation! Must be good to teaching with youngsters.

Please PM me! Many thanks!!

Ferguson Wed 19-Mar-14 20:20:51

I don't think you mentioned how old your 'little girl' is ?

YOU want her to start on a 'music journey of appreciation' but DOES SHE want to to embark on this (somewhat pretentious-sounding) journey?

I was a primary school TA for over twenty years, and for ten years ran informal recorder clubs for Y2 to Yr6 children. I also had some keyboard clubs, and coached children on percussion to accompany the annual Christmas production. By 'informal' music I mean it was for ENJOYMENT only, with not necessarily learning to read music (although some years children did do a bit) and certainly no consideration of Grades or anything like that.

Children came to my groups because they wanted some fun, and to learn to play a bit. I would pace and format the learning according to the interests and abilities of the children.

No, I'm afraid I don't know any piano teachers, so can't help you in that respect.

However, I would urge you to examine your own motives for this request. Were you perhaps a frustrated or failed pianist yourself? Did you want to learn, but never had the opportunity?

First and foremost music must be about PLEASURE and it must be VOLUNTARY. Depending on DD's age listen together to as wide a range of music as possible; take her to concerts or other musical experiences, such as to hear a church organ recital. But also have plenty of 'quiet' time, without music or TV, and listen to the sounds of birds, the wind, traffic etc.

If you want some inspiration, look at Nicola Benedetti's web site, (I follow her on Twitter) and read about her musical 'journey' and her work for music education.

If I have been too rude, I apologize, but children and music are two things I have strong opinions on.

CookieDoughKid Wed 19-Mar-14 21:23:01

No worries, it's really good to hear your opinion. She is six years old but I feel quite advanced in maths and English and I feel she needs to be stimulated a bit more. There are no after school clubs dedicated to recreational activities like performance art available at her school and no music lessons offered either.

I only reached grade 5 in piano and grade 5 violin but had to give it up because my parents couldn't afford lessons and my failing secondary school closed. The music teacher could not afford to take me on for free and I was the only one in the entire school who got to grade 5 (out of two other students who took music seriously). In my year only 10 people out of 75 odd got 5 GCSE grades A to C. I now digress...sorry.

So long as there is enjoyment of music then learning and instrument is richly beneficial.

I would just like to give my daughter opportunities that I never had and have her make the most of them or at least consider it.

I look back and if I had a decent teacher that cared maybe I could have got a music scholarship or bursary to a better school or music college but that's life. I was one of the unlucky ones.

claraschu Wed 19-Mar-14 22:47:47

Sorry I know some good teachers of string instruments in Oxford, but no wonderful piano teachers.

Ferguson, i think your tone seems a bit condescending. I wrote a lengthy rant back at you, which I deleted as it wasn't very helpful. Personally, I would avoid organ recitals with small children (not hugely fun for them). I also think recorder clubs at school are often less than thrilling. The percussion accompaniment sounds like a good idea.

My experience is that children find happiness from a sense of accomplishment in improving on their instrument, from performing in a joyful atmosphere, from playing in very small groups (duets or trios), from playing a piece they love, from having a wonderful relationship with an interesting teacher, from being surrounded by different kinds of music, and as they get older and wiser from listening to music more carefully. Learning an instrument is challenging and frustrating as well as fascinating and exhilarating: because of this, practising is not always going to be "VOLUNTARY" and a "PLEASURE", but it should be something the child loves at least most of the time.

Good luck finding the right teacher, and maybe see what instrument your daughter is drawn to, unless she has already been asking to play the piano?

Ferguson Wed 19-Mar-14 23:48:23

Yes, I can agree I was rather aggressive, and I did apologize in advance, but I was on the right track that OP was wanting her child to achieve more than she felt she had herself. Which, of course, is what many caring parents want for their child, whatever the area of activity, sports, art, music etc.

BUT I also think that to have got Grade 5 on piano AND violin is a brilliant achievement, all the more so in perhaps difficult circumstances!

True, recorder clubs are not that thrilling, but it does give children an introduction to making music which they might not otherwise get. I encouraged them to make up their own pieces, and we sometimes had 2 or 3 part harmony.

My mother wanted me to have piano lessons (my younger sister and brother both did piano and violin) but I refused. As a teenager I tried to learn trumpet from a tutor book. Aged 21 I had drum lessons, and played on and off for forty years in pubs, clubs, dances, pantomimes, stage shows, barn dances, weddings etc.

Invariably people think that music tuition always has to be formal, involve taking Grades, and all the rest of it. But I believe that ANY music making activity, no matter how primitive, where children can share the experience with others, is of some value.

CDK: I will PM you in a couple of days with more info.

JulieMichelleRobinson Thu 20-Mar-14 00:14:42

To put it in perspective: Encourage child to try it. If child doesn't like it, don't force child to carry on. If child really wants to do something else, encourage child.

My youngest pianists are 3yo, some of them desperately wanted to play but let's fact it, most of them come because their parents suggested it. After four (free) lessons I have them hooked, though!

claraschu Thu 20-Mar-14 05:07:42

Ferguson, I am sorry I got a bit aggressive too, and you are right that you did apologise, which is more than can be said for me. I totally agree that doing exams and being forced to practise is horrible for everyone. I think the whole system of doing grades is anti-music, actually. Your recorder club sounds lovely, but many of them are not much fun, and families think "Oh we tried music at school, but DC wasn't into it, so we won't waste money on private cello lessons."

I just hate the idea that taking lessons and working hard at something challenging is joyless, because it can be incredibly rewarding. I also think that parents almost always have to give occasional pushes to children, because learning an instrument is hard and not always fun.

OP, you sound so lovely, and I am sorry you didn't have the chance to go further with your music, as it obviously meant a lot to you. I agree with Ferguson that you did incredibly well with very little help.

I am going to ask around about piano teachers as I live near your area-

tryingtokeepintune Thu 20-Mar-14 16:27:28

Can you get to Sutton Courtenay or Didcot?

The Matrix in Sutton Courtney runs the Yamaha Music School and I have heard it is quite good as an introduction to keyboard, the children have fun etc. They also run individual tuition on various instruments.

I'll PM you about private piano lessons.

wakeupeverybody Thu 20-Mar-14 23:06:41

Are you on Facebook? If you join the local group wallingford piper there has been a recent thread asking about piano teachers in Wallingford with a few names suggested.

CookieDoughKid Sat 22-Mar-14 01:01:29

I really like The Matrix so going to make enquiries there! Thanks so much for your contributions. Really appreciated.

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