A well-loved and respected music teacher whose career spanned almost 60 years has died.

Mary Howell-Pryce taught the piano to pupils and directed music in schools in Oxford as well as in her native mid-Wales and Shropshire. Born in Kerry, near Newtown, in May 1929, she attended Newtown Grammar School for Girls.

From a young age her musical talents were evident and, aged 16, she was awarded a place at the Royal Academy of Music, studying piano and viola.

Her contemporaries included composer John Joubert, virtuoso pianist Ronald Smith and harpist Osian Ellis. After leaving London, Ms Howell-Pryce performed in many recitals in Wales.

In 1951, she married Glyn Pryce and they moved to Cumnor where they raised their three children, Bryn, Sian and Rhodri.

Among other posts, she was director of music at St Edmund Campion School, in Iffley Turn, from 1967 to 1987, where her openness to all types of music was appreciated by pupils. Later, she studied the harpsichord with Richard Leigh Harris, who became her partner, and she went on to gain a Master's degree from Reading University in Harpsichord Performance.

In retirement, she studied Latin, Egyptian dance and Welsh, her native tongue, twice being made a Bard at the Eisteddfod.

Mr Leigh Harris said: "While not militant, she was intensely proud of her Welsh cultural heritage and was an ardent supporter of the Welsh language, both spoken and written."

He added she was also a meticulous gardener, taking delight in her garden in Marston, Oxford.

He added: "Always kind, understanding yet understated in her manner, Mary bore her final illness with a typical stoicism, inner calm and faith that was wholly typical of this most serene of women.

Her funeral at All Saints Church, Lime Walk, Headington, where she had been director of music for 15 years, was ample testimony to the esteem and affection in which she was held."

She leaves three children, five grandchildren and her partner Leigh Harris.