DONNA MICHAEL has seen firsthand how her music has touched the lives of her listeners. With a signature style of grace, honesty and deep compassion, her critically acclaimed recordings of distinctively original contemporary instrumental piano compositions have been described as “a heavenly escape,” “food for the soul,” and “wondrously healing.”

As both a solo pianist and as a vocalist, Donna’s audiences range from intimate listening rooms to immense concert halls, and she is a frequent performer at such diverse music venues as the famed Bluebird Café in Nashville as well as Science of Mind, Unity and other New Thought churches throughout the country. In particular, her music has found a very special home in wellness centers and hospitals, in various settings for the healing arts, in churches, during corporate conferences, and for creativity and motivational seminars.

Also highly regarded as a motivational speaker and teacher, Donna combines her refreshingly unique music with a heartfelt keynote message to offer GraceNotes—encouraging, self-empowering presentations of hope, inspiration, joy and possibility. Her work as a Religious Science practitioner and ministerial candidate and as a volunteer with Operation Smile—an organization dedicated to helping those with physical impairments—continues to unite her with audiences and individuals embracing the challenges and triumphs of personal and spiritual journeys.

Perhaps Donna’s most powerful presence as a speaker and teacher is expressed in her work as a Radical Forgiveness Coach. Trained extensively in Atlanta by award-winning author Colin Tipping (RADICAL Forgiveness), Donna presents seminars and workshops based on this simple yet “radically” different approach to forgiveness. Having experienced it for herself on a deep personal level, Donna knows firsthand how this approach can literally transform lives. “Radical Forgiveness allows us an opportunity to discover how some of our greatest heartaches and losses can be an open door to amazing blessings,” says Donna. Her workshops, entitled “Finding Freedom in Forgiveness,” extend to participants—both groups and individual clients—an opportunity to walk through that open door, reframe the past, and embrace the future with a newfound sense of release and inner peace.

Originally from North Carolina, Donna is a classically trained musician and a former award-winning visual artist and instructor with a Masters degree in art. Upon relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, she chose to once again embrace her love of music by first serving as Regional Workshops Director for the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) before subsequently devoting full time to composing, performing and speaking. During her NSAI tenure, it was her responsibility to oversee 100 satellite chapters of the world’s largest established organization for songwriters, providing education for aspiring writers as well as a format for successful hitmakers to share their award-winning professional songwriting skills.

Winterfall, The Brighter Side of Night and This Feels Like Heaven—Donna’s first three highly acclaimed instrumental albums—were recorded and released as she balanced her music industry and creative careers. Hammered dulcimer partner Lee Spears joined her to compose, arrange and produce the first two projects, and the duo and their music have been featured on public television, on National Public Radio, and also on the Hearts of Space programming.

This Feels Like Heaven, Donna’s collection of original solo piano compositions, further expanded her well-established reputation as a gifted composer and performer and also provided the perfect opportunity to combine her artistic and musical skills. As with the cover of Winterfall, she created a special pencil drawing, found inside this “totally acoustic and completely beautiful” album.

Donna subsequently recorded and released two new albums that powerfully reflect her own—and her listeners’—search for hope, faith and inspiration. Somewhere in the Silence, a highly unusual piano album, differs greatly from her previous work in that it was performed and recorded live, non-stop, with absolutely no pre-planned music. Truly one-of-a-kind, it is an uninterrupted, continual creative flow. “Coming from personal experiences and having only a feeling of faith and trust, I simply ‘showed up,’” Donna says, “and allowed the music to speak to me and through me.” Described as “seventy minutes of serenity,” this delicately quiet, prayerful and meditative work continues to have a healing effect upon the lives and hearts of her listeners.

The Will of the Wind showcases her most-requested vocal songs. With her gently expressive voice, she offers a “musical journey of spiritual awakening” that also includes several original piano compositions. This collection is described by noted author Candy Paull as “heartfelt music that can help you put the pieces [of your life] back together again.”

An unexpected life change in 2001 was the genesis for Donna to create Into the Light, a special limited edition CD of song chants. Written during a time of initial challenge and subsequent renewal, each chant carries a message of hope and inspiration. Simple yet beautiful, these memorable melodies are easy to sing. Instrumental accompaniment tracks have also been included on the album to facilitate group singing. The soaring “A Light in this World” has truly become Donna’s signature song. Recently translated into other languages, it is now sung in schools, churches and at conferences throughout the nation. With this CD as well as other recordings in the chant series collection (I Feel Joy, Out of the Darkness and One Mind One Heart), Donna has found yet another avenue of expression for healing, hope and gratitude that continues to profoundly touch listeners from all walks of life.

“To me, making music is about making a difference,” says Donna. “Sharing it with others and seeing it touch, heal and change lives is my mission.” As a performing artist, Music Row Magazine calls Donna Michael “a rare talent.” To those who have heard and felt that difference and its powerfully healing effect, it is about much more than rare talent.

It is about real love.