Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 9

17 November 2022

Dear Parents,

I was delighted to welcome Tom Way (Beacon Head Boy 2016-2017) to Assembly on Monday morning.  Tom started learning the piano in Year 3 and continued through his time here and subsequently at Radley College where he has been for the past five years. Tom played two pieces, one by Debussy and one by Liszt, and really captivated his audience of current Beacon boys and staff. Afterwards, the boys were given the opportunity to ask Tom some questions…from the profound “Does endless practice ever get boring?” to the far more important “Which House were you in?” Not satisfied with his answer of “Trinity” from Tom, there was a follow up “What House would you have preferred to be in?” Got to give it to those Beacon Boys, they definitely have a sense of humour…

I watch and listen to musicians like Tom and never fail to be impressed with their natural talent and dedication to the study of music, but also with a great sense of frustration. My mother is an excellent pianist and we always had a piano in the house. At seven years old, she taught me the basics and arranged some lessons with a very nice lady, three doors up the road from our house in Flackwell Heath where we were living at the time. I had no problem learning the piano, I really liked my teacher…the problem was that at my teacher’s house was a large Alsatian that barked loudly when I arrived and paced the house in what I felt was quite an intimidating manner.  Rather than tell my mother the truth about the real reason, I told her I didn’t want to play the piano anymore and that was that; I gave up what would have been a treasured life skill for the sake of a dog and not telling the truth. Always be honest with your parents boys – they can solve pretty much every problem you have as long as you are honest with your feelings and emotions…

As I wrote in last week’s column, Pippa Pearson and I spent an enjoyable two days at the Independent Schools Show last weekend, extolling all the virtues of The Beacon and networking with colleagues from schools up and down the country. We spoke to hundreds of people and whilst they all had their own wishes and opinions on all things education, they all agreed on one thing…that The Beacon had the best piece of marketing with our Lego Beacon Boys. We were the talk of the whole Show and had a constant stream of visitors to our stand asking for the “Lego Beacon Boys”. We managed to salvage a few and they have now become the ultimate collectors’ item.  Here they are, all lined up…see if you can pick your son with his hairstyle out – we think we had every boy covered…

Have a good weekend,

Nick Baker

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