Margaret Hoban's house might be a symbol of her life, both perfectly ordered yet symbiotically chaotic.
The main room of the house, undoubtedly, is the engine room.
It is the room where generations of men, women and children across several decades have come to learn under the tutelage of one of Tasmania's greatest instructors.
There is a piano, a keyboard, violins and violas fills the shelves, music stands that would not look out of place on the set of Beauty and the Beast, countless other instruments, and about half a century of sheet music books. Musical artworks adorn the walls, and the room even smells of music - like maybe what a music room at primary school might have smelt of.
While not traditionally tidy, Hoban's music room seems to be perfectly ordered.
Mid-conversations Hoban breaks away to grab a violin and play a tune.
She does it easily and transitions from conversation to music in the blink of an eye, but for Hoban, music is conversation in many ways.
She explains how conducting is a difficult form of communication and expression, and one learnt over time and developed through its success and effectiveness.
And she describes how it is reflective of moods, something she has come to use to understand not just the world around her, but how the world around her can be capitalised on to influence the world around others.
"Conducting is one of those interesting things and you're communicating in a demanding way what you want from the orchestra," she says.
"Now, I see the world in moods, and this is one of the problems I have with texts and emails - they're characterless. I need the nuance of someone saying something to me. Words don't mean a lot, it's how they're said."
If ever a word was formulated into an expression, it was through the movements of a conductor. Without speaking, Hoban can raise the pitch of the flute section and simultaneously dull the drums. She is a master of communication, without even saying a word.
From Hoban's "engine room" you can see her front garden - both chaotic and perfectly ordered. It should hardly make sense, but it does. Nasturtiums flow across the footpath, while pink, purple and red blossoms pop throughout the yard. Something about it just makes sense, but it is impossible to say exactly what.
And that is basically how the orchestra operates, and has continued to operate since Hoban took over as its mastermind about 1996.
Like her music room, in her garden everything has a place, even if it is not precisely where it belongs, and even if it does not make any sense to the untrained eye.
They are the embodiment of how the Launceston Youth and Community Orchestra conductor and music teacher extraordinaire approaches teaching. Though teaching would be understating what Hoban does.
"When I was 40 I first learnt to sail, and at first I didn't know how to learn. I just thought I'd be able to do it. But what I found out was how I learn - and that's where a lot of my approach came from," she says, 30 years later with the experience almost fresh in her mind.
"I'm always look for, in my students, the key to how they learn so I can teach them, rather than them just copy what I do.
"Thinking is not actually training, and learning isn't training. You learn to do something and you learn the way that your brain figures things out.
"The thing I try to do is grow the depth of things, not the width of things. I don't just want to splash concerts all over the place, I'm actually working with the group of people to make them understand music, play it better, and actually love it."
While Hoban's description of her teaching philosophy might directly apply to the about 40 years of musical education, the impact she has had on the orchestra and the countless musicians who have flowed through it offers a grasp on the gravitational pull her style treats her followers to.
In developing the depth of her orchestra, which appears like a living organism in itself due to her philosophy, she is developing the depth of the performers, and the character of the individual filling the seat of first violin, or oboe, or clarinet, or double bass.
"I don't want my students to continue do what I've done - which is be ignited by a wonderful teacher I once had - I want these people to then carry on what they do in the society they're in, not the one I'm in," she says.
On a mild Friday night in late December, Hoban has assembled the troops for orchestra practice at the City Baptist Church on Frederick Street.
The grandeur of the church has a way of diminishing the size of the orchestra, but from the moment Hoban lifts her baton the hall becomes an afterthought.
Like the sounds produced by any great orchestra, music bounces of the walls and ceilings, and fills the most hard to reach crevices of the 1885 church within which they are playing.
The orchestra might be amateur, and half of its members might not yet have had their voice break, but the sound they produce is mighty.
Like Hoban's house, the orchestra she conducts is much the same: the instrument or the player might not fit perfectly, but they will always have a place somewhere.
In essence, that is Hoban's approach to her orchestra, her teaching and her life.
"I like orchestras because there's so much contrast. There's so, so much different stuff going on, and differences and different people are so wonderful," she says.
"When you play as an orchestra or a quartet, the conductor is not a leader. It's a reminder and a place where we can all turn a together to do a different tempo, for example.
"If you only ever work with, or deal with people you agree with, you cut yourself off from all sorts of richness in life."
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