When it comes to music, cellist Cassandri McKie is a natural.
When it comes to music, cellist Cassandri McKie is a natural.

Music is in her


FOR the next two weeks Cassandri McKie will be living, thinking, dreaming and breathing music, but this is nothing out of the ordinary for this dedicated 16-year-old cellist.

Cassandri is about to take her exam to advance to a grade eight in cello playing, which is the highest level of achievement, and then later in the year she will be auditioning for admission into a Performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

On top of her commitment to music, Cassandri is also undertaking her HSC this year at the Coffs Harbour Senior College, which doesn't leave this budding musician much time for anything else.

"While my friends are out at the beach and partying and shopping I have to practise. But I don't mind, I love it, and because I love it, it's not such a load on me," she said.

So what does it take to be a brilliant cellist?

Cassandri's mother, Andrea, said she doesn't know where her daughter's talent comes from, since neither of Cassandri's parents are musical, but music just seemed to flow from her daughter from a young age.

"She heard the sound of the cello and said she wanted to learn it. She hasn't put it down since the day she got it," Mrs McKie said.

Cassandri practises on average around three to four hours a day, has weekly lessons at the Music Conservatorium in Coffs Harbour, travels to Armidale every fortnight and to Sydney once a month for music lessons.

Apart from the time practising and travelling to lessons, Cassandri also says that she is so involved with music that she spends every minute thinking about it.

"I become immersed in music. My favourite music is classical music, and well, anything that sounds good on a cello. Every teenager needs something to focus on, and I'd be lost if I didn't have music," she said.

The future certainly sounds sweet for Cassandri, who aspires to make a career out of music, anyway she can.

"I want to do everything with music ? music therapy, music journalism, play in orchestras, there's just so much you can do with music."

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