I’VE always believed you don’t live with regrets.
We all make mistakes, and mostly we learn from them and move on.
But there are some decisions you reflect on that you wish you had not made – and for me, giving up piano lessons as a teenager was one of them.
As a reasonably stubborn teenage girl, I opted out when I was ‘forced’ to change music teachers. Actually, I wasn’t forced – but that’s certainly how I saw it at the time.
I had long loved my piano teacher Mrs Hill, who lived in a gorgeous farm house surrounded by a beautiful overgrown but romantic garden on a hill near Colbinabbin.
Mum would take a friend and I out to Mrs Hill’s house one night a week, and we would spend hours playing and studying music, talking and (of all the memories to have) taking the path to the outdoor loo.
I still remember the tick, tick, ticking of the metronome, the dimly lit room filled with family photos and the piles of music.
Together, we got through my first few music exams and shared a love of classical music.
But when it reached the stage where Mrs Hill took time out from teaching for health reasons, we sought an alternative.
For a short while, mum drove me to Bendigo from Elmore once a week for lessons with a kindly gentleman who not only had a passion for music, but also Siamese cats. I cannot remember his name but he taught me a great deal about classical piano – and took me to the next level.
But for whatever reason, that stopped and the only option from there was to attend lessons with a teacher I did not enjoy working with. So after skipping (wagging) a few lessons and some discussion with my parents, I chose not to continue.
It was entirely my choice and I can never blame my parents. But they then sold the piano. So that was it. I had to live with it.
Unfortunately, so too did my sister. Part of the deal in my having piano lessons was that I also had to teach my sister to play. Few families could afford music lessons for five children in the 1980s.
But recently we have both been talking about taking it up, again.
Music, as it is for so many, is our leveller. Our grandfather played drums in a concert band and mum grew up spending Saturday nights having picnics in the back of the family panel van at various venues throughout Melbourne watching him play.
In his later years, he played in the senior citizens band with grandma on the banjo.
One of the stories my children love hearing is about their own grandma playing the banjo at the Melbourne Town Hall – in a mini skirt. They love that story – actually, so do I. It's pretty cool to think of your mum doing that. Dad also plays guitar and writes music and my youngest now loves jamming with him on her new purple guitar.
My eldest is now also making sounds about wanting to learn the piano - so maybe it's time to bring the magic of ivories back into our home.
Maybe it's time to bring the magic of ivories back into our home