Make sweet music
I loved my piano teacher as a child. She was a little old lady called Miss Hyde who was about 3ft tall and wore calipers on her legs for her brittle bones. I was really fond of her and went to her weekly for 13 years, but looking back on it, the lessons were very sedate and traditional and just a little bit boring.
For my own kids, I’ve really tried hard to find teachers with energy and enthusiasm, so the Muddy bratlets are all taught by a superfunky but massively well-qualified pianist called Matt. He’s young (compared to me, of course – my kids think he’s ancient), he plays in bands, teaches jazz as well as classical and is so much in demand that he’s had to take on another piano teacher to cope with demand.
Now Matt’s teaching business has gone all Clarke-Kent-in-a-phone-box and come out with red thrusting underpants as the Thame Institute of Music, with new teachers in drums, guitar, bass guitar, singing and brass (trumpet, trombone). The Institute is covering all its bases, with music theory lessons and music technology and production courses and even kids and adults ukulele lessons…
There’s nothing like this around the Thame area – I guess its closest approximation is XYZ Music Academy on the other side of Aylesbury – and I’m really excited for Matt because he’s such a lovely guy. But more importantly on Muddy, it’s really great addition to the area because kids (or adults) who play an instrument not only have great teachers, but there is also a potential pool of other like-minded musicians to hook up with. So my oldest son, who plays jazz piano and trombone, will at some point opportunity to have a stab at playing jazz with other kids outside his school, or hooking up as the brass section of a pop band. Whoopo!! I think that’s awesome. I wish I’d had the chance to do something similar when I was younger.
As I haven’t personally tried trombone, guitar, string, singing and drumming lessons (I know, honestly, what do I do all day?), I can’t make a judgement on the new teachers, but knowing Matts’s a total pro and really passionate about music, I’m sure they’re brilliant. At the very least, if you’re looking for lessons yourself or for your kids, it’s a great place to start to the search.