A great thread, this, and just goes to show the various things that formed our music/ musicianship in later life. I suppose there were not too many formal music lessons that made a difference to me but certainly a lot of music all around that had a lasting influence and shaped much of my life.
As I said, music was all around, from mum and dad singing round the house, the church choir and primary school where there were at least three pianos and a lot of time spent singing. Or that was my impression.
Then at age 10 I went off to the Chichester Cathedral choir school, very much aided by the choral scholarship which remitted half the school fees back to dad. We’d sing eight full services in the Cathedral a week, each one preceded by quite intensive practice. So by age 11 going on 12 I could read and sing quite busy four part harmonies. We used to stay on over Christmas and much of the summer holidays so it was all quite full on. If very enjoyable. While there we had to take up a musical instrument and I studied the violin, getting a few early grades.
Then leaving to join the posh boys school I encountered a musical desert. No music lessons, no nothing except a tired old codger coming in every morning to play organ for the morning assembly. Such a useless school that tuition didn’t progress after the fifth form.
So I was sent to the local grammar school for sixth form. It had a good football team but what excited me was it had a jazz band. (Rock bands hadn’t yet started). And it had an excellent slightly eccentric music master. And when I arrived on the first day of term I spotted a double bass on the stage. I fell in with the crowd who surrounded the jazz band . I was soon in and while still at school we were playing support to a lot of the headliners that came to Reading Town Hall.
So not too many formal lessons but surrounded by music and finally a some good friends who shaped my musical life.