It is usual for parents to ask about my learning experience in music. My story began at aged 11, when my father took my two sisters and I too the local music store in Morwell. My passion for music was seeded and music became part of my dream. I was not a natural but I worked and practiced long hours to achieve a high level of proficiency.
At 18, I began my formal music studies at the Melba Conservatorium in Richmond, Melbourne. Here, my skills flourished under the tutorage of many gifted and talented musicians. It was during this time I made a promise: a promise to one day “build a music school”, a school for everyone in the community to experience the joy and benefits of learning a musical instrument.
In 1995, I started studying composition at LaTrobe University. At the age of 23, in December 1997, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer. While undergoing cancer treatment, I made a second promise: “grant me the fortune to survive cancer and the blessing to father children, and I will build a music school and share the gift of music with my children and all children in the community”.
My music school was created in 2007, after the completion of my Masters in Music Education at Monash University. A year later, the Mozartini Orchestra was formed. Sunday Herald hailed it as “Australia’s Youngest Known Children’s Orchestra”. The Mozartini Orchestra promotes and celebrates music education in young children’s lives. It was my way to pay back to the community for the many blessings and opportunities provided to pursue my passion for learning and teaching music.
As a young music student, I did not know what was going to be, nor did I understand the difficulty of my journey. On reflection, it is clear, as a father and music teacher now, our goals are to provide our children with the opportunities to experience as many different creative art forms, academic and sporting pursuits. This way, they can find their childhood passion and build their own dreams, like I did.
Learning and teaching music has been my life long passion. I find myself retelling this story and reliving it each time I teach my three children and all my students.
I hope, by retelling my story, I can share my passion with everyone for learning and teaching music.
I invite you to become part of my dream!