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Music brings joy and great honours

Gwen Berman of Townsend - awarded OAM. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner
Gwen Berman of Townsend - awarded OAM. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner Adam Hourigan

AT AGE four, Gweneth Berman took up the piano.

Seventy-six years later, she is still playing.

"I just love doing it," she said.

"It's part of my life and always has been."

Coming from a musical family, Mrs Berman had music in her blood and talent in her veins, and these days she can be found passing on her great wisdom to the younger generation.

Mrs Berman has taught at the Maclean Music Academy since 1988 and shows no clues she is slowing down.

"I love teaching," she said.

"I was a high school teacher for much of my career, but then went back to music."

What she loved most about it, was watching her students blossom.

"Seeing the children enjoy music is just magic and perhaps some will go on to play very well, but just seeing them enjoy it is the best part," Mrs Berman said.

"When children first start learning, you can tell if they have good hands or good ears, but you can't always tell if they're going to make a real go of it.

"It's definitely something you have to work at."

Mrs Berman has also been a musical accompanist with the Lower Clarence Community Choir since 1993, a pianist/organist at the Maclean Presbyterian Church since 1984 plus 20 years with the Grafton Singers.

Today, she has been named a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia for her service to the community in a field she loves so dearly - music.

"I'm a bit embarrassed by it all really," she said.

"I'm sure there are a lot of other people out there more deserving of it than me.

A modest Mrs Berman said she had finally squeezed it out of her children that they had nominated her.

"It was a real shock and I am most honoured to receive this award, especially for something I love doing."

Topics:  medal of the order of australia, music, piano, townsend




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