Dad was keen to instil in us a love of music.
The very first instrument he taught me was the recorder. He told me that so many people killed it when they played it.
He was determined I wouldn’t be one of them.
He himself played the recorder, beautifully, along with the tin whistle.
I wasn’t always a very patient student, but I did practice.
Sure enough when I started at Riverside High School, I did a solo of Green Sleeves for school Assembly and was considered the best recorder player in the school. Thanks to my Dad.
The other thing Dad did was not allow us to watch Count Down. We were so curious about Australian rock music, but it was banned in the house.
We did secretly sneak a glance at ABBA now and then. We knew their hits due to a friend of the family who played it to us whenever we visited her house in Devonport.
However, at home we were brought up on a strict musical diet of Simon and Garfunkel, Peter Paul and Mary, Irish Australian Ballads, Don McClean and my Dad’s greatest love Bach. He still loves all Classical Music. He would educate us about folk and classical. I am not sure we were always paying attention.
My parents both loved musicals and so there was Gilbert and Sullivan, Porgy and Bess and South Pacific blaring in the house too. Dad would sing these songs quite loudly in the house sometimes, especially Gilbert and Sullivan.
Today he does a radio program on musicals for community radio.
I loved stealing into my Dad’s record cabinet and pulling the old vinyls out. It used to make him mad though sometimes as he was worried I would scratch his records. He wasn’t to know it would all come out on CD years later. Perhaps then he would have been calmer. Still, I knew music was precious because of how much he cared about his record collection.
These songs and music still ring into my ears today. Whilst I watch and listen to popular music, I can see why my Dad was so keen for us to have an upbringing in music where the song writers wrote complicated lyrics.
But I must admit my children have a little more choice, but thankfully they grew bored with what I found ‘boring music’ very quickly.
I don’t play the recorder any more, but I still play my guitar, and like to write songs with complex lyrics and folk like melodies.
I took my family to Mumford and Sons recently, and thought about how much my Dad would like their music. I must remember to ask him whether he has listened to them, next time I facebook him.
Inspired by the Who Shaped Me project for ABC Open this month’s Pearlz Dreaming blog theme will be about the people who inspire me and there are lots of them!