The Dodds family produced a bumper crop of violinists, reunited in the Australian World Orchestra.

Strangely, neither of our parents played a musical instrument during their childhoods, but there was an interest in music that developed particularly whilst they were studying to be mathematicians at Caltech in the US. Our father actually taught himself to play recorder and our mother played piano. Our great-grandfather had a violin at home, which might have given them the idea to start their children off on that instrument.

Our parents were very involved in our musical training. Each practice session began with singing notes at the piano and both parents continued to supervise our practising for at least the first five years. They probably enjoyed learning about music as much as their children enjoyed learning an instrument.

Sofia, Dan, Stan and Kyli (1979)

From then on it was a chain reaction. We were all close in age, the next younger sibling always had an eye on what the elder one was doing. To then pick up the instrument and try to do the same thing was very natural. Our teacher Alita Larsens in Brighton,...