The Sydney Bolter, my father's mother was an excellent pianist, a teacher of piano and a composer. I don't know of any internet connection from Andrew Highriser to Dorothy Hodges, so you can look her up if you want. But she did take on her piano student's surname who she ran away with from South Oakleigh to Balmain in later life, so her earlier life won't be there.
In my grandmother's footsteps, mid eighties I learnt the piano too, with a weekly one hour lesson. Pity he turned out to be a pedo. He was somewhat creepy. The lessons went for a couple of years and I learnt to read music and translate it to my fingers and then translate it to hitting piano keys. It never came naturally to me. It was a slow mechanical process where I played very slowly while reading a particular piece of music and with practice, improved and if I kept practising that piece, I could play it. And then there was the next piece of music to read and the whole process started again. If R ever hears Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata again in his life, he will scream.
Mother could play the piano when she was young and did for her Sunday School students' when she was teaching them the way of the lord.
Tradie Brother has the Sydney Bolter's own piano and Sister has Bone Doctor's mother's piano. I have sat down at times and tried to play, but Mother and I both agree, playing a piano is not like riding a bicycle. You just forget. I did have another crack at learning by a different style in the early nineties. I learnt major minor major seventh, diminished, or something like that. It was so different to what I had learnt earlier. Again I was unsuccessful beyond the basics. I sold my piano in the mid nineties, I think.
I remember Mother being at a friends' house, the friends being Jehovah Witness who also believed in witches. I think Father may have had a drink or two one night and called all their silly religious nonsense into question, especially when the woman started raving about witches and frightening us kids and then the friendship was no more. I have just remembered, Ann Bacus was her name. I never saw her name written, so I don't know the spelling. Her husband was less of a religious fanatic. How old was I? Maybe seven.
Nevertheless, they also had a piano and once Mother sat at their piano, put the music up on the piano fold out ledge (that thing must have a name) and played and sang. I don't know if she turned her own music pages or someone else did.
Mother's piano playing ability died from thereon. I might use this tale at her funeral. I will really struggle to find positive things in her later life.
Vividly but through defective memory, I remember what Mother played and sang. She hit the piano with gusto and 'The prettiest girl, you ever saw, was sipping soda through a straw'.
I thought it was an Andrews Sisters song, but You Tube is not being helpful. The lyrics are wrong, the pace is wrong. It was much brighter and breezy the way Mother sung and played it. Perhaps I am mixing up soda with rum and coca-cola (love your work Andrew). Sipping Soda may well get an audio run at Mother's funeral.