AT 80 years of age, Sebastopol resident Barbara Preston is living proof that it’s never too late to take on a new challenge.
Growing up in Essendon, Ms Preston took piano lessons as a child like many of her generation. The mischievous youngster was kicked out by her piano teacher, putting her musical aspirations on hold.
As work and children came into her life, music was put on the back-burner.
“I just didn’t have time, I had three children and I was a single mum with virtually no support,” Ms Preston said. “I met a local man and married him and when he was ailing we moved to Ballarat in 2003 and he died in 2004 and since then I’ve been spreading my wings.”
The former art teacher began dabbling in music about 10 years ago when she purchased her first instrument, a cello.
She had previously been a keen golfer but was forced from the green due to an ongoing back injury.
Since then she has rekindled her love affair with music, playing in the Ballarat University of the Third Age Celtic Band.
At her birthday in June Ms Preston decided it was the right time to add another instrument to her repertoire and at the weekend she purchased a new bass guitar.
The iconic Hofner violin bass, made famous by The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, now takes pride of place among her collection.
Ms Preston said while she was still grappling with the weight of the instrument, she was looking forward to performing.
“I always loved musical instruments and I love the sound of the cello,” Ms Preston said. “But I also liked the bass sound so I thought I’d have a crack at something different.
“I play in a trio with two flautists and they want to play Beatles songs so I’ve got to get good enough to play Beatles bass.”
On top of mastering her latest instrument, Ms Preston is also in the process of playing on the Celtic Band’s second album.
Ms Preston said while art remained a passion, she now spent less time painting as music had taken centre stage. “You just can’t do everything can you?”