Billy Hiebert Music
Oakland, California 94609
Phone: 510.654.7488


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My Story: 

When I was 5 or 6 years old, my two older brothers began piano lessons on a new Kimball spinet. I was frantic to begin also, but was told I was too young and would need to wait another year. It was a long year but finally I got started with lessons. A few scales, no chords, no theory, just learn to read the notes of a simple arrangement, and practice until you can play it with no mistakes. Then memorize it. Then start over with one that's a little harder. After four or five years of that my enthusiasm for a music career was over. Well almost, in elementary school I decided to try out for the school band. I thought the trumpet would be cool but the band didn't need another trumpet player, they needed someone on the sousaphone. It was a marching band, and there I was trying to hold, play, and march in the wind with that giant instrument; I weighed less than 80 pounds at the time. Another musical career was ended before it began. Sometime later, in my early twenties, an ad in a local paper caught my eye: Piano for sale, eleven dollars. It was a Fisher cabinet grand in horrible condition, but somehow I felt a kinship as I too was in horrible condition musically. Maybe together something could happen. So in a tiny living room, every part that could come apart filled the room. My wife wonderfully understood as she still does. I repaired or replaced and reassembled all the parts and tuned it a little different from normal. I somehow felt that I had a new partnership with the piano. Maybe now I could begin to play. Because of my early disappointments, I could not even consider lessons or external structure of any kind. I just sat down and played. Eventually a hint of order emerged and I even had the piano tuned professionally. I continued to play and here it is more than four decades since buying that eleven dollar piano. I've heard others talk of the music they hear in their minds; but my mind is silent; I hear nothing. When my fingers hit the keyboard, that's when I hear the music for the first time. But being involved with the playing I'm still not really hearing it. It wasn't until recently that I recorded and was able to listen and truly hear what I had played. That was quite an experience.

       Billy Hiebert 2009