Getting lost in music at Ambridge Rose

getting lost in music at Ambridge Rose

Getting Lost in Music at Ambridge Rose

When Velma grew up in an isolated Northland area, music was a wonderful way for her to keep herself entertained.

She listened to her father play the mouth organ, which sparked her love of music and she was the only one of her siblings who was influenced by his musical talent. Velma’s mum wanted to get a piano and when it arrived in their Waimamaku family home the youngster taught herself how to play tunes she knew. She loved listening to music on the radio and copied the melodies.

“I could tickle the ivories and it ended up I could play by ear. I never had any lessons.”

Throughout the years Velma taught herself to play the piano, the accordion and the ukulele, which she learnt to tune using the good old my dog has fleas mnemonic method. Velma’s family lived in such an isolated region that they were accustomed to going without things and were self-sufficient. Her father had to order an accordion from the Waimamaku store, but when it arrived he didn’t play it much and left the instrument for Velma to play.

She went to a small country school and recalls other people played accordions up north but there wasn’t a lot of music going on in the community. Also, Velma was a bit shy and only played at home. It wasn’t until Velma moved into The Manor that she played for an audience and just quietly, she enjoyed being asked to play for others and took requests.

“You feel miles away and like you’re the top of the world, but that’s skiting about it.”

Throughout her lifetime, Velma’s musical talent has brought joy to herself and many others, including Ambridge Rose residents and staff.