‘She made a huge difference in my home’: Piano gal repurposes piano into bar, honoring woman’s dad
SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — The Piano Gal Shop owner Marta Hansen spent Tuesday morning at the bench of her piano telling us, “I’m very lucky to do what I do.”
For more than 30 years, playing the piano has brought life to Hansen.
“I’ve always loved music,” Hansen said. “I’ve always wanted to make things and create things.”
It started with her first piano when she was 7 years old. It’s been giving her life for decades, and now she’s ready to return the favor.
“Pianos just sit in basements, they sit on curbs,” Hansen said.
Hansen’s love of music and love of pianos drove her to bring life back into something that brought life to her for so many years.
“It’s awesome. It’s really cool. It’s really important to me to create what my client wants and not what I want.”
Hansen has repurposed pianos into bookshelves, benches, vanity mirrors, and a variety of other things. Every piece she makes has special meaning to the owner.
These are all of the creations #THEPIANOGALSHOP made for people who didn’t know what to do with their old pianos that were broken beyond repair. The owner, Marta Hansen, now makes a living off giving life back to pianos by re-purposing them into meaningful pieces. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/EdfmKaF1oZ
— Jamie Perez (@JamiePerezTV) February 19, 2019
Hansen has had many clients in the past, but Kate Herrick says she is Hansen’s biggest fan.
“My dad had early onset Alzheimer’s and died five years ago,” Herrick said. “I grew up in Los Angeles and his piano was the only piece of furniture I brought back. There was nothing we could do with it. It was completely ruined. I was pretty upset. My dad and I were really close.”
Herrick’s father didn’t know who she was for the last six years of his life. The piano she brought to Hansen to repurpose was all she had left of him when she moved it here from California.
When Herrick and Hansen met through a mutual friend, Herrick’s father was given a new life through a newly repurposed piano that Hansen made into a bar.
“I asked Marta to put the sheet music onto the bar so the music was where my father’s fingers were when he played,” Herrick said.
Every page of sheet music used on the bar are songs Herrick’s father loved to play.
“To see how special it is to her and to see how meaningful it is to her really just keeps me wanting to do more of these projects and keep these memories alive for people,” Hansen said.
Keeping memories alive is what Hansen does now as she transforms lives the same way the piano transformed her life.
“I remember when Marta finished it and she sent me the pictures and I cried because it meant so much,” Herrick said. “This feels like my dad is here. The music and the alcohol. It’s still his but in a different place kind of like how he’s in a different place now too. She made a huge difference in my home.”
If you are interested in contacting Hansen, you can do so through her Facebook page.
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