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music, dance and such in the country

(18 Posts)
Barly Sat 15-Nov-14 14:01:46

We're living in a city with good infrastructure, so it doesn't concern me at the moment, but I wondered:

In the classical country-house way of life today, when you're in the perceived middle of nowhere, you might send your children down to the village school, but what do people do about extra-curricular things if your choice is only between football 30 miles away and the village shop?

Let the children play in the garden (lake, farm, stables... if you're lucky) and send them to a boarding school as soon as they're seven? Or employ a nanny who's an accomplished dance, instrument and sports teacher?

childrensservant Sat 15-Nov-14 16:07:33

ermmm, get in the car?
Are there houses 30miles away from an urban area of some sort?
Didn't Zara Phillips attend her dance class in the local village hall?

JulieMichelleRobinson Sat 15-Nov-14 20:48:16

In this day and age? Drive. Some music teachers do lessons via Skype - I've not tried and it doesn't necessarily work for beginners or for every instrument. Have a music, dance, whatever teacher come to village one evening a week and teach multiple children?

lecherslady Sat 15-Nov-14 22:58:16

Villages and market towns have extra curricular activities too!

In our village, there are cubs and scouts, a tennis club, cricket club etc etc...

In The next village to the north you can do Irish dancing, football, martial arts, brownies....

In the next village to the west you can do swimming, diving, dancing, band etc etc

Whilst you can't do every hobby in our village, certainly you can do most stuff (except ice skating of course!) by just going to the next village / market town across. Within a 10 minute drive, I could probably access most hobbies available within your average town (except those where specialist facilities are needed!).

taxi4ballet Sun 16-Nov-14 14:32:56

There aren't all that many people living the classical country-house way of life these days - why are you asking?

childrensservant Sun 16-Nov-14 14:42:08

OP, I don't really get this thread.

You just get in the car and drive to the activity you require.

No, I don't think you need to employ such a nanny, nor send your child away to boarding school at age 7.

Which area are you thinking of that has houses 30miles away from any village?

Barly Mon 17-Nov-14 18:15:08

None in particular, really, I only wondered.

I just know that some people aren't much involved in local life, with social circles more the sort that you call the inhabitants of the next country house 15 miles away "neighbours", and see friends at their places or in London from time to time. Now that might work for adults, but it's different for children.

dancestomyowntune Mon 17-Nov-14 18:48:09

We live in a market town with two established dance schools and a couple of smaller ones that offer classes in halls. We have a town band that have a junior section, swimming pool that offers club and lessons, trampolining, football, rugby, cricket, tennis... In fact I think we are quite rich in extra curricular activities. We have brownies, cubs, rainbows, sea cadets, scouts, Red Cross, church youth clubs... That's all off the top of my head.

childrensservant Mon 17-Nov-14 22:11:24

You really know people like that?
Where do the children go to school until age 8???
My kids go to private schools, and children there live on "Estates". The parents are aristocracy, but are lovely. Kids do normal activities the same as other busy kids. Often at after school clubs, and local area clubs.
They go on play dates to other peoples houses too…….

I suspect you've been watching too much period drama on tv!!

Barly Tue 18-Nov-14 09:42:14

Probably. :-) It's not the 70s anymore, luckily.

MakeMeWarmThisWinter Tue 18-Nov-14 10:07:34

What a very city centric view on life. I grew up in a tiny village, I went to dance classes in village hall (taken by an excellent ex ballerina), went swimming weekly at the nearest pool about ten miles away (by car), went shopping, museums, concerts etc, by getting the bus for an hour at the weekends when I was about 11 and older. I'm now a professional musician - I had piano lessons from the church organist from age 7, and violin lessons from the peripatetic strings teacher who covered a dozen villages each week. I got on a bus for an hour each weekend to participate in county music making activities on a Saturday morning in a town. We went for lots of walks and climbed hills and made dens in the woods, made boats on the river, all sorts. The teachers at my primary school in the village encouraged participation in competitions etc in things like art, writing, maths.

Talent, skill, money, ambition, buzz are not limited to cities.

I maybe went to my closest city two or three times a year until I was in my late teens. It did me zero harm.

I live in a city now but wish I could give my children the upbringing I had.

HindsightisaMarvellousThing Tue 18-Nov-14 10:14:26

I know the sort of people you're talking about. In reality, they use the same facilities as the rest of us - local school or private school depending on funds, local hockey/rugby clubs etc. Most schools have a range of clubs running these days. At age 8 or 11 or 13 a more "prestigious" school may be considered for weekly or full boarding.

In addition, the children are members of the local Pony Club which frankly has a very busy social schedule, and meet friends there. They will also get taken skiing regularly with friends and family, plus summer holidays in friends' villas abroad.

taxi4ballet Tue 18-Nov-14 10:38:58

Dukes and Duchesses' children go to dance classes in small local towns/villages just like everyone else. I know this because one was at my dd's previous dance school.

Barly Tue 18-Nov-14 14:28:05

MakeMeWarmThisWinter, I never implied talent etc. were limited to the cities, just the opposite: talent etc. are the same, but there's more availability of activities in cities.

I grew up in the country, then we moved to a town, hardly a city, and I feel the same: it's sad that my children are less among hills, trees and cows than I was, even if they (or we, rather) have a choice of Aztec-Italian fusion ballet teachers...

MakeMeWarmThisWinter Tue 18-Nov-14 20:02:56

I think there's plenty of time when offspring hit 18 for them to do Aztec-Italian ballet - I'm ambitious for my children but also quite laid back - as long as they're exposed to everything and are given as much opportunity as possible to try things, it's easy to find anything really. In the fields of music, dance, drama, sport, and art, we as a country can be proud that pretty much anywhere, children can access the best. Unfortunately my music lessons were fully funded and now children are charged upwards of £150 a term to learn, but that's irrelevant to your point. Until 18, even the most gifted children can be sufficiently stretched 'locally' in my opinion as a professional musician and as a teacher / workshop leader with an interest in widening participation.

MakeMeWarmThisWinter Tue 18-Nov-14 20:04:08

Oh and my comments about talent not being limited to cities wasn't about children, it was about adults iyswim - so there are plenty of willing teachers who are highly qualified around even in the sticks, ime.

Highlandbird Tue 18-Nov-14 20:13:41

My DCs are only 1 and 3 but I've started thinking about this....our nearest town is 50 miles away (small touristy town) we are hoping they will be into outdoorsy stuff like us! No dance / music lessons for miles around, but there is a ski centre! wink
And no, we are not well off, no nannies or boarding school.

elastamum Tue 18-Nov-14 20:22:09

We moved from the SE to rural Derbyshire so I have seen both sides of this. Being rural hasn't stopped my DC participating at all. They did most of their sport at their private school, but they also played cricket for village teams and one climbed several times a week, went to parties and sleepovers etc. There is loads going on, cubs, dancing, football etc. You might have to drive a bit and ask around to find stuff, but being rural doesn't mean nothing happens. As they get older you end up doing more late night parent taxi and some of the runs can be 1/2 hour each way, but it doesn't last long. DS1 will be driving next year (now that really worries me.)

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