Finding hidden musical talent

TINKLING THE IVORIES: Anita Bellman, the new director at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music, teaches Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell to play the piano.
TINKLING THE IVORIES: Anita Bellman, the new director at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium of Music, teaches Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell to play the piano.

WITH one hand playing one note at a time, Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell learned to play the piano in less than five minutes, thanks to the expert tuition of Anita Bellman, the new executive director of the Northern Rivers Conservatorium. The pair went on to improvise a tune together, to the surprise and delight of Mayor Dowell.

Ms Bellman said the Conservatorium's open day on Saturday, November 3, was a great opportunity for adults and children to come along and discover their latent musical talent.

"Whatever your dreams are, we can help you with it," Ms Bellman said. "Not everyone has visions of a career in music but they might want to add pleasure to their lives."

"The musical talent is deep in me, but for some people, it might be closer to the surface," Mayor Dowell laughed.

The Conservatorium is located in Keen Street, Lismore and the open day will run from 10am until 3.30pm. A range of musical instruments will be available for budding musicians to try their aptitude at, from piano to guitar, flute and cello, as well as open workshops, tours and rehearsals.

There will be an outdoors showcase cushion concert, opened by Aunty June Gordon at 11am and in the concert room upstairs, visitors will be treated to a mandolin concerto and choral performances, followed by a piano party at 2pm.

As well as playing the piano and flute, Ms Bellman has been teaching vocals at the Conservatorium for the past five years, and is excited about her new role as executive director, replacing Janis Balodis.

"I feel honoured and humbled to be leading the Conservatorium into the future with more great programs and fulfilling the community's need for quality music education," Ms Bellman said.

The Conservatorium has bursaries to help families who are struggling to pay the costs of tuition and have applied for VET fee help for the 2013 Diploma course. The Conservatorium will also be launching a new ensemble program in 2013, creating the bands of the future.

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