My local public secondary school happened to be a specialist music school. New students could sign up to learn an instrument from one of the teachers; for no cost. Of course, every Year 7 wanted to learn the saxophone, of which the school had about five. About 50 of my peers signed up for saxophone. The saxophone teacher herded us into a room and told us the bad news; the good news being that our parents could buy a saxophone for a cool $800. My parents didn’t see the good news. Mum dragged her grant-aunt’s viola from the cupboard, and marched me to the office of Geoff Conrau, string teacher extraordinaire (Geoff is also an amazing magician, and a pyrotechnician). I was not happy about…

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