"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" Piano Player Morgan Gao, aged 5 of Lismore at The Piano Party, Conservatorium of Music, Lismore. Photo Patrick Gorbunovs / The Northern Star Patrick Gorbunovs

Smorgasbord of instruments

HAVE you ever wished you could play a musical instrument?

Well, the Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre in Lismore is the place to go to learn.

The conservatorium gave musical and non-musical people alike the chance to play instruments during its annual open day on Saturday.

People were offered a free "musical aptitude test" to find out what instrument would best suit them.

"The aptitude test is about seeing where your talent really lies," the conservatorium's executive director Anita Bellman said.

"You might have always thought, 'I'd love to learn flute', but then you go along to the conservatorium and try the drums and find that's actually where your natural ability lies.

"You might as well go where your talent is instead of swimming upstream."

Lismore local Brendan Waters took his twin nine-year-old daughters, Ninah and Phoebe to the open day.

"They were a little self-conscious at first but eventually went up and did an aptitude test with a teacher on the flute and keyboard," he said.

"It was a good opportunity for them to pick up an instrument that they'd never physically seen before.

"I've filled out the expression of interest form for them because now they're eager to play."

Community music co-ordinator Zoe Abbott said the open day aimed to show the public what the conservatorium has to offer.

"We have our academy offering diplomas, our community studies, which is the lessons we teach here, and there's the music in schools program where we travel to local schools to teach," she said.

And you don't have to be a prospective musical maestro to learn music at the conservatorium.

"We're a regional conservatorium and regional conservatoriums are there to serve their community," Ms Bellman said.

"Our organisation caters for all ages and there's babies and people in their 70s and 80s who do classes here."

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