The Student Room Group

Oxford Colleges - pianos available to play recreationally

Hey lovely people in Oxford Colleges, I am looking for your help as I am finding it difficult to figure which Oxford Colleges cater for recreational piano players. Some colleges mention one or two grands available, which seems like a very low number considering the number of students (500-700). By comparison, Winchester College has more than 50 pianos for 700 students. Did I miss something?

Another idea I had is to bring my own upright piano to my college room. Would that be allowed, and would there be enough room for it?
(edited 1 month ago)
Most colleges have some music practice rooms which you can book. Colleges with large numbers of music students will probably have more. It’s a question worth asking at open days.

If you bring your own piano you will need to remove it every 8 weeks as most colleges don’t let you leave things in the rooms over the vacations. There may also be rules about music practice in residential rooms - plus if you are in a room 3 storeys up a medieval staircase that’s unlikely to be viable.
Reply 2
Good thinking. Thanks for the vacation reminder. Thought about asking the Oxford colleges, until I realised that would mean 39 calls/meetings to be arranged. In the age of the Internet, I just wish this information was somehow more available.
I just now picked 3 colleges at random, typed “music” or “practice rooms” into the search section of their websites, and got a lot of info about their piano facilities and piano room ballots, so try doing that. Presumably there are other factors that will narrow it down from 39 colleges anyway so you can work out your top 5/10/whatever and then check those.
My college only has 1 piano available for general use. Although that doesn't sound like a lot, each music student will get a piano in their room, so they won't be using the college one. It's also worth bearing in mind that if you wanted to get up early and practice at 8:30 am, it's unusual other people would be awake so the music room would be likely to be free.

Not all colleges offer accommodation for the duration of the degree, so if you were at a college where you 'lived out' in 2nd or 3rd year, it would be more feasible to bring your own piano there. I'll also second the opinion that most college rooms (at least in older colleges) are up windy narrow staircases that would be a nightmare to get a piano up and down every 8 weeks!
Reply 5
Original post by AJ0005
Hey lovely people in Oxford Colleges, I am looking for your help as I am finding it difficult to figure which Oxford Colleges cater for recreational piano players. Some colleges mention one or two grands available, which seems like a very low number considering the number of students (500-700). By comparison, Winchester College has 50 music rooms for 700 students. Did I miss something?
Another idea I had is to bring my own upright piano to my college room. Would that be allowed, and would there be enough room for it?

I would imagine there are a relatively small number of students, apart from music students, who will book practice rooms for pianos. Students are also very busy and even people who casually play the piano at secondary school might not continue to university. Personally I wouldn't think booking rooms would be a problem.
Reply 6
For me piano is a hobby I cannot live without, so stopping is not going to be an option☺️ Google search was patchy, many big colleges wrote 1 or 2 grands plus room pianos for music students, which doesn't apply to me.

@booklover1313 which is your college?
Don’t search on Google, go to the website of each college you are interested in and search there using their own inbuilt search function
Reply 8
Original post by AJ0005
For me piano is a hobby I cannot live without, so stopping is not going to be an option☺️ Google search was patchy, many big colleges wrote 1 or 2 grands plus room pianos for music students, which doesn't apply to me.
@booklover1313 which is your college?

No I totally understand, you shouldn't stop! This is just to say that there probably will not be that much competition for use of pianos, even if a college only has 1 or 2.

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