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“The piano was always a game. Having no siblings near enough to my age to play with, I simply had to make my own fun, and for this, the piano was the playmate I never had. It kept me occupied for hours.”  

Brisbane musician and writer Juliet Hoey follows her two critically acclaimed crime novels The Sixth Partita and Miranda’s Tempest with this deeply personal account of her struggles and triumphs in her determined quest to become a pianist. After a promising beginning with a good teacher, circumstances demanded a change of mentor, with disastrous results.  

Sister Elizabeth was a very elegant lady. She was the principal music teacher at the school. She was also the angel of musical death to myriads of unfortunate students who had the misfortune to shelter under her ineffectual wings.”  

Years of heartbreaking struggle followed this appalling teaching, as the young student worked relentlessly to rebuild a shattered technique, often in borrowed time.    


In Store Price: $31.95 
Online Price:   $30.95



Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

ISBN: 978-0-9945426-6-3  
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 356
Non Fiction



Juliet Hoey
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2016
Language: English



“This thoughtful read continually surprises. The sweeping narrative details Brisbane’s cultural history from the 1940s onwards, a woman’s struggles in a man’s world, post-natal depression, temporary homelessness in England with three small children... Eventually the author was able to say ‘it was all worth it’. This extremely well-written and engaging book is an accomplished work.” (Extracts from a recent review.)


To my dear friend and mentor, Matthew Farrell, 

and to the memories of 

Mona King, Dulcie Robertson, 

Nancy Weir and Bernice Lehmann. 

These remarkable people were not only inspired teachers, 

but “companions on the journey”.


Author  Biography


Gympie-born Juliet Hoey has lived most of her life in Brisbane. A professional musician, she studied with Nancy Weir and graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium with a distinction in piano. She subsequently studied cello and enjoys playing that instrument in a community orchestra, Brisbane Symphony. With this same orchestra she has to date performed a total of nine piano concertos. In the course of a very busy musical career, she has also given numerous solo and duo piano recitals. She was an examiner in piano for many years, a frequent eisteddfod adjudicator and also worked for five years as a classroom music teacher for Education Queensland. She currently teaches both piano and cello privately.   

An experienced writer, Juliet has previously published three books; Under the Mulberry Tree (self-published) and crime novels The Sixth Partita and Miranda’s Tempest, both published by Zeus Publications. She has also written the libretti for three children’s operas, with music composed by her husband Denis Hoey. She co-founded a national church music magazine One Voice and subsequently edited it solo for five years. In addition, many articles have appeared in print over the years, together with poetry, some of which was set to music by composer Colin Brumby.   

Juliet and Denis Hoey have four adult sons. Along the line, they have also managed to acquire a clutch of delightful grandchildren who keep them on their toes. 

She Shall Have Music is her heartfelt memoir of the struggles, hardships, and eventual success which accompanied her wish to “have music wherever she goes”.




I would like to thank my husband Denis for his meticulous proof-reading, helpful suggestions and constant encouragement. Writing is a lonely profession and such support is of inestimable value.  

I also thank my many colleagues and friends in the musical profession who have shared some of the journey with me - conductor Antoni Bonetti and my fellow players in Brisbane Symphony Orchestra. You inspire me more than you can ever know. No less is the inspiration and stimulus provided by my fellow choristers in St Brigid’s Catholic Choir, Red Hill with choral director/organist team Tricia and Roland Bartkowiak at the helm. You make music truly come alive amid the sheer fun of rehearsals.    

My dear friends in the “Monday Club”, pianists Narelle Doolan and June Butcher are a precious part of my musical - and personal journey, as is my good friend Jan Lockwood with whom I performed so many enjoyable piano duo recitals over the years. My thanks also to friend and colleague Hilary Yates with whom I shared many happy years of piano teaching at St Ignatius School, Toowong. And let me not forget my deeply valued students. I learn as much from you as you do from me.    

And last but not least, my sincerest thanks go to the wonderful team at Zeus Publications who for the third time now have provided such outstanding service, professionalism and courtesy.




“Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,

To see a fair lady upon a white horse.

Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,

She shall have music wherever she goes.”



This is the story of a traveller who “has music wherever she goes”. The “fair lady” is far from being a celebrity. Indeed, the world is liberally stocked with this exalted species, and I have no wish to add to that over-subscribed number. Instead, I believe that my story is the story of Everyman — or of Everywoman. Indeed, who among us has not suffered frustration, setbacks, and failures which may have appeared so devastating that the road ahead presents itself as an impassable pathway?

My particular story contains both suffering and joy, in roughly equal measures. In this way, I am no different from anybody else. However, because I was born at a certain time and in a certain place, I was born into a culture that was sharply inimical to the very gifts with which I had been graced at birth. My journey has some unusual features as a result. For this reason, my professional life, and at times, even my personal life, necessitated years of the most arduous climbing towards a goal that seemed impossibly high and unattainable. In the end, the climb was worth it. Exhausted and battle-scarred, I did eventually reach the top of my own personal mountain.

On the upward climb, I met, and battled, a unique combination of gremlins not commonly found in the lives of climbers both steadier and more tranquil than I could ever be. Illness, homelessness, hardship in a foreign country, poverty, outmoded attitudes to women, poor education – all these, and more – were dark companions on my particular journey. But it was not all like this. At every difficult step, light pierced the thick barriers of the clouds looming above. Accordingly, my tale brims with laughter as well as tears, success as well as failure, joy as well as sorrow. For this reason, I believe and hope that it is a story for everyone.




And finally, a word on the physical structure of this book. I have divided it into five large sections, with each section subdivided into the usual chapters. These sections I have labelled “movements”, mimicking the sections of an orchestral symphony. Some symphony writers of the Romantic period (the 19th century) occasionally drew their inspiration from literary works with which they were familiar. Accordingly, I have headed each of my “movements” with a literary quotation appropriate to that particular part of my story. In this way, I wish to pay tribute to Schumann, to Berlioz, to Mahler and to so many other giants in the musical canon whose masterpieces live on to inspire generation after generation.



It all began on an old Hallman piano, a mediocre instrument of dubious provenance newly transported from Gympie to the Brisbane suburb of Albion.

War time, 1942. Housing scarce, the family in a rented home in Lucy Street. The lady of the house had just farewelled her visiting brother out the front gate when she heard it – the faint sound of piano music drifting down from upstairs through the golden stillness of a Queensland winter’s afternoon.

“Oh, that must be Margaret,” she idly mused. Then suddenly turning round, she stopped dead in her tracks. “Hold on! That can’t be her. Margaret’s at school today.” Bursting with curiosity, she rushed upstairs and creeping into the lounge, unearthed the mystery player. Calmly enthroned in regal style on the piano stool and playing by ear sat the four-year-old baby of the family.

The child remembers none of this. She knows only that there was a far-off time in Gympie long since shrouded in the mists of babyhood, a time when she didn’t play the piano. And then there was a time when she did; endless years which never stopped, years heralding a very long journey, an odyssey sometimes good, sometimes terrifying, but even in its most appalling moments, invariably fascinating and challenging.

All journeys are unique to the traveller. This one is the story of a person neither at the top of the career tree, nor at the bottom – just someone perching happily on a branch partly up and partly down. It doesn’t matter how far up she sits from the lowly base of the tree. All that matters is music, and love, and joy, and the rewards that follow a lifetime of honest, hard work.

Along the way, she will be joined by her husband and children. But that’s tomorrow’s story.  



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