A TALENTED father-and-daughter duo are bringing the joy of music to Kealba. Music therapist, instructor and producer Neil Ta leads the Kealba School of Music. His daughter Vivian is a singer and keyboardist who also plays the recorder, guitar and harmonica. The eight-year-old has performed for dignitaries, politicians, multicultural festivals and at Federation Square. On 2 February, she will sing the national anthem at the Lunar New Year Festival in Footscray. “What I enjoy about concerts is that I build more confidence and I get to have more friends,” Vivian said. “The best advice my Dad has given me is to never give up and always keep trying. “He’s a really nice teacher.” Mr Ta taught himself the recorder and learned harmonica from his father, as a young boy growing up in Italy. He recalls watching an orchestral marching band from a room above the stable where his “very poor” family lived. The band’s conductor invited Mr Ta to attend rehearsals and taught him to read music. “He gave me my first clarinet, which I learned very quickly. I was like, ‘wow’,” Mr Ta said. “Now I play more than 40 instruments.” Mr Ta came to Australia during the 1980s, where he studied music at university and went on to become a music therapist for the Department of Justice. He taught street people and drug addicts from Footscray and St Albans, who eventually formed a band and toured Victoria. Nowadays at the Kealba School of Music, Mr Ta said in addition to musical ability, his classes aimed to increase children’s intelligence, adaptability and confidence. He is also keen to share his love for music with older students and will offer adult ukulele classes in Brimbank from mid-January. Mr Ta said many older people want to learn an instrument but have never been given the chance. “The first thing you see is their eyes, they shine when they get a chance to achieve their dream,” he said. See www.kealbaschoolofmusic.com for more details.