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K
Somewhere
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1 of 15  Thu 24th Nov 2011 4:38pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2011  Total posts:572

Back in the early 1970s I started organ lessons given by the doughty Mrs Doris Oughton. I would imagine that she was a bit of a Coventry institution in herself! She and her husband played in a dance group, too; I was amazed how quickly her fingers, all obviously rheumatic, flashed over the keys; she graduated from the London College of Music in 1934, so must have been in her 60s when she taught me. Does anyone else remember her?
Music Teachers and Lessons
Ace
Nuneaton
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2 of 15  Tue 27th Nov 2012 2:45pm  
Member: Joined Nov 2012  Total posts:73

Doris taught me, when I could be bothered to attend a lesson (8.15am on Saturday). Her front room on the corner of Dennis Road and Hartland Avenue was where she taught. Horrid lady who always charged for a manuscript when billing my parents, even though I had the same one all the time. She made the younger kids cry in front of other students if they hadn't practiced enough ('an hour a day'). You got about 15 minutes at the piano and 45 minutes writing music down from a tutorial. I learned nothing at all. However, she was much in demand, with a queue of students waiting to get a regular lesson, and she usually 'interviewed' them herself, showing a sadistic streak of an ex-teacher who was on a power trip.
Music Teachers and Lessons
Beesman
Cornwall
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3 of 15  Tue 27th Nov 2012 3:01pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2012  Total posts:366

Crikey! Makes me glad I never progressed past the triangle at music! Big grin
Music Teachers and Lessons
Rootes66
Dunfermline
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4 of 15  Fri 30th Nov 2012 6:31pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:88

Seeing the thread about music lessons with the redoubtable Mrs Doris Oughton, reminded me of my first piano lessons with Miss Marion Bailey LRAM whose house was at the bottom of Shaftesbury Road on the junction with Radcliffe Road/Rochester Road in Earlsdon. Did anyone else have similar fun? The house is still there, and I think is a children's nursery today. I wanted to play the organ, so my dad set up a visit with the organist at Holy Trinity (I think his name was Mr Tanner). I was about 8 or 9, and Mr Tanner made some very loud noises on the organ which impressed a small boy greatly. However, he said I'd have to learn the piano first. So I went to Miss Marion Bailey as she lived just round the corner. I was not the most cooperative pupil - badly behaved boys and old spinsters don't go well together! I did pass a music exam with her, and here is the certificate. It looks very grand, however "Junior" was lower than Grade 1 I think, one up from Baa Baa Blacksheep. It was the one and only music exam I ever took, which was probably a good thing. By then I was at Bablake, and I got lessons after school with the music teacher there instead. He was called J. Wolseley-Charles (JWC), and was known to the boys as "Lavatory Jack". I learned quite a bit from him, however in summer of 1961 he died suddenly. Quite upsetting. After that I got some lessons with another music teacher, Keith Dixon who also played the organ at St John's Church at the bottom of Hill Street. That lasted for a couple of years until I discovered the Beatles and gave the whole thing up. A year ot two later, I took up the piano again and started teaching myself, and I still play today. Never did play the organ. Does anyone else remember any of these music teachers??
Hugh

Music Teachers and Lessons
Midland Red
Cherwell
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5 of 15  Fri 30th Nov 2012 6:34pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:4300

Leonard Tanner would certainly have been organist and choirmaster at Holy Trinity Church at that time Thumbs up
Music Teachers and Lessons
anne
coventry
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6 of 15  Fri 30th Nov 2012 7:48pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:291

I'm so envious - I would have loved to have piano lessons!
Music Teachers and Lessons
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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7 of 15  Sat 1st Dec 2012 2:24am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:2870

Me too. I had piano lessons with Mr Kell, not sure of the road but it was near what was then Moseley Avenue park. What I must have put that poor man through. He used to disappear for a few minutes when I was playing what was supposedly be homework. I am sure now it was to give his brain a break or a quick cuppa. I have a Yamaha keyboard now and have a very amateur plink plonk now and again. Roll eyes
Music Teachers and Lessons
anne
coventry
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8 of 15  Sat 1st Dec 2012 10:03am  
Member: Joined Feb 2012  Total posts:291

Dreamtime - maybe he was having a quick swig from his hip flask!
Music Teachers and Lessons
Dreamtime
Perth Western Australia
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9 of 15  Sat 1st Dec 2012 10:44am  
Member: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:2870

More than likely Anne, I think I was doomed from the start. I was not an ideal student, but he did try. I did leave with a few chords up my sleeve. Oh my Wave
Music Teachers and Lessons
Tricia
Bedworth
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10 of 15  Sat 1st Dec 2012 3:14pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2011  Total posts:540

After two years of piano lessons with Walter Smith in Walsgrave Road, he wrote to my parents telling them that they were wasting their money. I realise now what a great opportunity I'd had, and I wish I hadn't wasted it. Wave
Music Teachers and Lessons
TonyS
Coventry
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11 of 15  Sat 1st Dec 2012 4:41pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2011  Total posts:1553

I think we can all connect with that Trisha - I bet most of us wasted opportunities as kids that now we dearly wish we hadn't. Sad
Music Teachers and Lessons
William Diffin
Coventry
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12 of 15  Mon 7th Dec 2015 11:12pm  
Member: Joined Mar 2013  Total posts:2

Remember her? My grandfather Win Haddon (who was landlord and pianist of the Hit or Miss pub in Bedworth for most of the 39-45 war) used to live next door to her, and for many years he would do her garden and hedges for her. As children my friends and I would play in her garden and help ourselves to her apples whilst she gave piano lessons, and she was totally oblivious, just as she was on the roads in her little white Austin 1300. But my grandfather would tell us we must be respectful because Miss Bailey's mother was a great musician who played the piano before Queen Victoria herself. Her brother Bob's death hit her hard and she was never the same afterwards. In the end she became so ancient - us local kids guessed she was well over 100 but no one really knew for sure - that whilst still physically active she could no longer teach or look after herself; her beautiful house was covered in cobwebs and reeked of stale vine alcohol. Twice Win had to break in after she had taken a fall and couldn't get to her door. Finally her family turned up and took her to a nursing home. That must have been nearly 30 years ago now. For all of his help over the years Miss Bailey gave both of her beautiful pianos to my grandfather, and he in turn gave me her grand piano when I was sixteen. Then my evil mother sold it, kept the money and threw me out on the street and I never spoke to her again. Beautiful instrument it was. A Julius Bl├╝thner of Leipzig boudoir grand piano in rosewood, pre-14-18 war. Magical soft tone it had. I used to play Rachmaninoff on it in my teens. God it was beautiful. I'll never forgive my mother as long as I live. I have no mother. Happy memories. And yes, Marion Bailey's lovely house is indeed a pre-school nursery now. I also learned that Constance Olga Elliott, who taught piano just across the road from Marion Bailey, died in 2009, aged 80. She taught me piano when I was pre-teenage, although I wasn't to let Miss Bailey know that; Marion kept offering to teach me, breathing heavy alcohol fumes, and my grandfather would politely make an excuse. Miss Elliott's catchphrase was: 'You must... keep... the time... like... that.' To this day I tend to play piano in the free rhythm of speech rather than of the metronome whenever possible. I last saw Miss Elliott in 2005, doddering about Earlsdon door to door collecting for Christian Aid. She was very wobbly, and deaf as a post, bless her.
Music Teachers and Lessons
coventry49
Devon
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13 of 15  Tue 8th Dec 2015 4:05pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2015  Total posts:135

This topic has certainly raised old memories to the surface! I had piano lessons from a Miss Nellie Barnett who lived at the top of Woodstock Road in Cheylesmore. They were on a Saturday morning and cost 10shillings, an amount my parents could ill afford. I wasn't much good, but do have four certificates exactly like the one shown above dated 1961-1964. I went to a house, which must have been Miss Bailey's to sit each of the exams, presumably because she had a grand piano. Its good to know this lovely house is still standing.
Music Teachers and Lessons
Heathite
Coventry
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14 of 15  Tue 8th Dec 2015 6:43pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2012  Total posts:355

Wasn't there a Keith Dixon at Binley Park? I'm not sure if that was his name but he was a great bloke in my eyes. Example; one year we had a music 'do' that needed a large-ish choir. A friend of mine and myself either volunteered or were roped in. During a rehearsal as I was standing next to my friend who was singing much like a gruff bear would, the music teacher and choirmaster was making his way through the choir. He was listening and searching for the source of the gruff sound. He came nearer and nearer until he stopped at what he was looking for. I was very worried because I thought my friend was going to be thrown out. But since I was close enough I could hear what Mr Dixon was saying to the gruff voice, all he wanted was for him to sing quieter. I couldn't believe it, I was touched to the core. He didn't want to get rid of the lad, he simply used his noddle to keep him in and integrate him. I don't know what the lad thought but I have never forgotten such a simple but powerful act of consideration.
Music Teachers and Lessons
Old Lincolnian
Coventry
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15 of 15  Wed 9th Dec 2015 4:41pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2012  Total posts:441

Nellie Bartlett died about 5 or 6 years ago. A few years ago you could see her out walking her dog everyday, if she walked passed a house and the garden gate was open she used to make a point of closing it - everyone always knew when she had been passed. I believe she spent a lot of her earlier life playing on cruise ships..
Music Teachers and Lessons

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