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As a pupil there in the late '60's, I had many mixed emotions. Not a lot of friends, probably my fault (!), not quite sure what the greater expectations were, other than the goal of GCSE and GCE examinations - I was in the "A stream." Anyway, 47+ years later, I realize what an incredible education I received from my teachers - many of whom I can still remember, but, I fear, may still not be around. Incredible inspiration; and genuine encouragement. Let me clarify, Oakfield Road, not Beckenham and Penge Grammar School for Boys, also in Penge.
Most of my teachers encouraged my music during those formative years. After leaving Oakfield Road, I pursued a career in music; obtaining diplomas in piano from the London College of Music, and the Royal Academy of Music. I am a pianist, composer and arranger, I have had a great career. In recent years I have been fortunate to have a show on Broadway; I was Mike Tyson's Music Director (!); as well as performances throughout the world.
This is not about me, or who I am - it is more about how I, to this day, still value the education "way back then" and, that for today's youth, to instill in them the believe that if you want to succeed, it is truly up to each of us!