It was not until a much later age that I began to appreciate the value of all those boring childhood hours spent on winter mornings practising apparently pointless piano scales and arpeggios, and enduring Miss Gill's mind-numbing music theory classes after school.
Three years ago, almost deafened by the cacophany of human gossip and gobbling amplified at midday by the eatery dome at Cairns Central shopping centre I heard the distant sound of an exquisitely played piano.
Travelling busker Dennis Lees was planted beside the escalators playing romantic, mostly old fashioned music on his beautiful electronic piano.
Here was a man of my own vintage travelling Australia and living his dream by doing what he loved best, and playing with supreme virtuosity and technical competence.
After buying one of his CD's, I asked if I could just stand, watch, listen and learn as he played some more.
It was only then that I noticed that two fingers had been amputated from one of his hands.
So to Dennis Lees, who would not know me from a bar of soap, thank you for the inspiration.
One day, thanks to you, I might just get all the way through "Sometimes When We Touch" and "Cavatina"…The Deer Hunter theme, from memory, and without a single mistake.