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Tale of Two Pianos

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

In January, my precious mom passed away. I had the best plan made up that I would donate her piano. It seemed like a great idea until I sat and played the piano. Emotion overcame me and I knew I had to keep it. I opened the piano bench and my mom had taped notes to the lid and put precious memories inside. One caught my eye. I had forgotten that my mom and dad gave me the piano for my 18th birthday.

When I was 17, I performed my ARCT (piano performance degree) and I didn’t pass by one mark. I had a breakdown because I couldn’t practise any more or do any better. The adjudication mentioned that I needed to practise on a grand piano to develop my muscles. My dad (the coach) heard this and somehow raised the money for the piano. Failing this exam and receiving this gift, landed one of the greatest lessons of my life. I retried and passed the exam with fire in my heart. I didn’t care if I passed or failed, or what the judges said. I did it for me and I did it for love.

Since that time, my mom and I have made decades of music on this piano. She wrote her first set of songs on this piano in her 80s (it is never too late). She would play for people that had terminal illnesses to comfort them prior to passing (her gift). She played music for hours to nurture us with her songs (her love). She and I sang duets, played Christmas carols with the family, laughed and cried on the piano (our connection). This piano contained the song of our hearts.

So here I am with two pianos. My other piano was an anniversary gift from my husband so it is also hard to part with. Several of you have suggested become a duelling piano venue. In the end, I am feeling incredibly abundant and grateful. I played mom’s piano at her funeral on February 18th. I played “Strawberry Girl”, the song I wrote to her and my dad about how they had met in Port Elgin.

If you would like to hear a live interview and performance of “Strawberry Girl”, “I Rise” and “Venus” with Ian Churchward on “Between the Sets” on RogersTV.

Blessings to you, Heather xoxox


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