Mum was talented too—she was a self-taught organist and played the church organ regularly. All this musical talent was supposed to flow through to me, but sadly, it didn’t. I started piano lessons with Mrs Tatterson, the local music teacher, when I was eleven, and I sat one exam. The exam was held in a strange room, on an unfamiliar piano and I decided, no more exams for me!
On our rare visits shopping in Benalla, I loved to visit Miss Mitchell’s music shop in Nunn Street, a small, dark shop with lots of sheet music. I loved to pick out some of the popular songs of the day, which Mum would play, and we’d have a singalong around the piano at night. The only entertainment otherwise was the radio (how would our grandchildren have coped with that?) We sang pops, negro spirituals and lots of classics, with meaningful lyrics and catchy tunes, so different from today’s repetitious and raucous pop music.
I took a bundle of music to the Opp. Shop, hoping someone might get some pleasure out of finding that old music, and enjoy a sing around the piano as we did.