84-Year-Old Can’t Read Sheet Music but Charms Everyone with Piano-Playing Skills

February 22, 2019 Updated: February 27, 2019

One usually has to attend some classes or training before being able to play a musical instrument. But, of course, there are also some people who can play musical instruments perfectly well despite not having any prior training, like this elderly woman in Canada who managed to charm the internet with her piano-playing skills.

In November 2018, Michelle Mainwaring was at Value Village, a thrift shop in Chatham, Ontario, when she chanced upon an elderly woman sitting at a piano with her hands flying all over the keys. Seeing this, Mainwaring quickly whipped out her phone to capture the woman’s amazing performance.

Posted by Michelle Mainwaring on Friday, 27 January 2017

“I captured joy, and I was filming with joy, and the people who were watching were filled with joy,” Mainwaring told Blackburnnews.com. “There was so much joy, that it was just emanating from her fingertips right through my camera on my phone.”

The mesmerizing performance was uploaded to Mainwaring’s Twitter account, where it soon went viral, brightening up many people’s day.

Posted by Michelle Mainwaring on Wednesday, 14 November 2018

“So many messages of how it put a smile on somebody’s face, tears in their eyes, an inspiration, something to aspire to,” Mainwaring said. “It’s just created a ripple of great energy.”

Who was this woman?

Dear Fern, wherever you are, I have received hundreds of messages like this. You have brought so much happiness and…

Posted by Michelle Mainwaring on Friday, 9 November 2018

It turned out to be 84-year-old Fern Bezanson, one of the familiar faces of the band The Joymakers, who often perform at local senior citizen homes and hospitals.

Watching Bezanson’s performance, one would not have doubted her musical playground.

But actually, she didn’t have any prior music training. Instead, she learned to play by ear.

“I can’t explain it,” she said. “I would hear a song and I could kind of pick it out when I was a kid.”

There was plenty of toe-tapping music at the campaign kick-off courtesy of these great friends and talented musicians (left to right): Fern Bezanson, Joe Thorner, Marilyn Whiting, Rick Redmond and Joe McDonald.

Posted by Bob Bailey on Thursday, 10 May 2018

Not only does she perform at events with the band, she also loves sitting down to play the piano whenever she sees one.

“I am like that. If there’s an old piano sitting somewhere I’ll say I’ll try this out and I go over,” Bezanson told The London Free Press.

And her random playing at the thrift stop led her to stardom on the internet. Bezanson couldn’t believe it when she heard how many people had watched her impromptu performance.

“When I hear that number I am overwhelmed. I can’t even imagine,” she said.

Her name is Fern, she's 84 yrs young and I met her in the Chatham Value Village! That's her adoring friend Bill standing beside her with two poppies on his lapel! She was wonderful! They were both wonderful! You could see how proud of her he was. One woman who stopped to watch said it was a wonderful way to spend her lunch hour!

Posted by Michelle Mainwaring on Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Bezanson explained to Blackburnnews.com that her initial purpose of playing the piano was to “bring joy into people’s lives.”

Well, it seemed like she succeeded with that, as can be seen with the overwhelming response on the internet!

We hope she continues to brighten up people’s days with her playing, and hopefully, we get to see another video emerge sometime soon.