The proprietors of the Contemporary Music School have taken exception to my description of their college in my letter of December 2 and accused me of various ‘inaccuracies’ (DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER, letter, December 9). First and foremost, I am sorry if I have ruffled any feathers and regret that my comments came across as judgemental and critical.
I should have qualified my observations by writing that the school ‘appeared’ neither frequented nor vibrant.
But I think that the proprietors have over-reacted and that my comments have been taken out of context.
I was arguing that the rundown, unattractive nature of Western Road had a damaging effect on local businesses and cited two examples.
To paraphrase the relevant paragraph and clarify its logic, ‘The Roomz Café, in spite of having been a popular venue for gigs, was forced to close for lack of custom. The Contemporary Music School, in spite of the availability of printed information, was low key and appeared unfrequented and inert’.
I should explain that my interest in the school stemmed from the fact that at one point I intended to brush up my rudimentary piano skills and the school offered tuition on the piano. In the end, I gave up the idea.
My comments on the school were based on my own impressions. Several times when I passed the building, there was nobody either going in or coming out and the premises appeared to be locked up (possibly for security reasons).
It did not seem possible to simply walk into the college and make inquiries.
Finally, there happened to be somebody present and I was let into the building. He handed me a couple of information sheets describing the services provided by the college and giving the names and telephone numbers of some of the tutors. There was no visible or audible sign of any teacher, student or musician (possibly due to the internal layout of the building and soundproofing).
All these negative indicators led me to seriously underestimate the degree to which the school was used.
As regards the vibrancy of the school, ‘vibrant’ is a very strong word, connoting ‘pulsating with life, vigour or activity’ and requires visible evidence. It does not simply mean ‘successful’.
I have nothing further to say and once again apologise if I have caused distress to the proprietors.
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