From a very early age, P2 had shown an interest in music. Neither of her parents were educated beyond the age of compulsion. Both, but particularly her mother, wanted more for their daughters. They encouraged her musical interest. They were fortunate to have a neighbour, Claire Shand, who taught piano, taking private students and holding regular concerts. She took P2 under her wing, teaching, encouraging and mentoring her.
When P2 went to a selective girls’ high school in Sydney she was fortunate to find a strong choral music tradition and another talented, committed Music teacher who recognised her potential. Even though she was the only student enrolled in Leaving Certificate Music and Music Honours, her lessons were timetabled, she was taught and enabled to sit exams and matriculate in Music. Music was her thing, and she never deviated from it. The Music teacher was her advocate and mentor, negotiating with other teachers who complained about the impact of Music studies on other subjects.
Her dilemma, as she approached Matriculation, was whether to proceed to the Conservatorium of Music to pursue a performance-oriented future, or take a more general Music pathway through Sydney University. The university had recently introduced a B Mus degree, focused initially on composition, while still offering a BA with a Music major. The school Music teacher encouraged her to take the broader university path which opened more options – including teaching. P2 took this advice, along with a Teachers’ College Scholarship, and enrolled in the B Arts (Music).