By Clare Bruce
he greatest reward for any teacher must be to see a former student achieve great things.
Especially if that student becomes a leader in their field, breaking long-held records and gaining national media attention.
Imagine the sense of accomplishment then, felt by Castle Hill's Roxanne Kiely - Delta Goodrem's former singing teacher.
Not only did the gifted teacher pass on her skills to Delta, she also tutored stars Adam Saunders and Bec Cartwright, and taught in the 1990's with Robyn Dixon at the Australian College of Entertainment in North Parramatta (then as Roxanne Paladin).
Attending her classes were up-and-coming stars such as Amity Dry and Sarah Blasko.
"I started teaching Delta when she was only eight years old", Roxanne said.
"I was seeing her once a week, sometimes twice a week, for many years.
"In the media she comes across as such a nice girl, and when she was little she was just like that. She'd come to her lesson and say things like, 'Hi Miss, how are you? You look lovely today.' She was like that as an eight-year-old and she's like that now.
"At the Australian College of Entertainment, there was always a lot of stress with rehearsals and things, but Delta was always 'up' and happy.
"Often she'd be waiting for her lesson, and while I made myself a cup of coffee, she would be sitting there at the piano, playing and singing her own little songs. It seems like yesterday.
Roxanne said it was exciting to see her students become rising stars.
Teaching, though, is only one side of her career.
She's also an accomplished singer, songwriter and entertainer in her own right, playing regular gigs with her husband Stephen as duo Cover ME.
The Kiely's write their own songs. Roxanne is developing a country music career while Stephen, a gifted pianist, concentrates on pop and blues.
They also run the Australian chapter of the international songwriters' organisation Songsalive!, which was founded in 1997 by Roxanne and fellow singer-songwriter gilli moon aliotti, who runs the United States branches of the organisation.
Locally Songalive! has monthly workshops, on the first Wednesday, at APRA HQ, 6 Atchison St. St. Leonards, as well as monthly showcases on the last Tuesday at the Cat & Fiddle Hotel in Balmain.
That's how Stephen met his future wife - being "dragged along" to a meeting by friend Stefan Sojka in 1997. Stephen and Roxanne hit it off and married in 2001.
More details on 0411 465 332 or email Roxanne.