THOSE who know Dimboola man Harry John know he is always whistling.
The 83-year-old has music in his veins he picked up a violin when he was three and hasn't looked back since.
After more than two decades as Horsham Rural City Brass Band bandmaster, Mr John believes music is keeping him young.
"Music has kept me alive and has given me a reason to do things," he said.
"I can't imagine life without it.
"I whistle all the time and years ago I found out it is impossible to be sad while you are whistling."
Mr John said while he had dedicated many years to music, it had enriched his life.
"I met my wife, Nancy, through music she was making her debut and I was playing in the dance band," he said.
"We were both 17.
"I have also made a lot of great mates.
"One of the boys from my school band was my best man when I got married and another boy was the groomsman."
Mr John, a former music teacher, mentors Horsham Rural City Brass Band's young musicians.
He said music had the power to put wayward children on the straight and narrow.
"I have seen it change people's lives it has turned a few bad boys around, that's for sure," he said.
"I usually quote famous people because I am not very smart the philosopher Plato said music was important in the development of human character and that it is our duty to teach it to our children.
"Plato seemed to know what he was talking about."
The band debuted five junior players at the Horsham Spring Garden Festival on October 12.
But Mr John said it was hard to keep young people playing music.
"If we don't have young people coming through, the band won't survive," he said.
"The kids start off so well but when their school load increases, they can't do everything and the music is the thing they give up.
"They might also move away for higher education and we often lose them that way."
Band president Chris Johnson said Mr John had a first-class relationship with all band members.
"Harry is basically our centre post," he said.
"His commitment is just outstanding because basically his whole life is dedicated to the band.
"We always promote the fact that there are advantages for kids to come through the band and Harry has been a big supporter of that."
Horsham Rural City Brass Band made a special trip to Wimmera Base Hospital this month when Mr John was admitted. The band set up under Mr John's ward window to play a stirring rendition of 'Danny Boy' a scene from the movie 'Brassed Off'.
"That was wonderful," Mr John said.
"It was so uplifting and everyone in the hospital loved it."
Despite the hospital stint, Mr John has no plans to slow down.
Wherever he is on November 11 this year, he will pick up the bugle and play the 'Last Post'.
"In 1938, I played the 'Last Post' at the Mordialloc State School for Remembrance Day," he said. "I have done it every year since so this will be my 76th year in a row.
"I do it regardless of where I am I have been down at the dawn service, out in the bay fishing, walking down the street, on a tram, outside Myer.
"My mother was a war widow from the First World War so I promised I would do it for her.
"It is mad it is probably some sort of record."