Jerard Heffernan studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with the late Sonja Hanke, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree with High Distinction. After winning numerous awards, he travelled to the United States where he completed a Master of Music in piano performance at the prestigious Peabody Institute, where he won the school's memorial piano award for outstanding achievement. Major teachers at this time included Julian Martin and Marc Durand, whilst also participating in the masterclass of Leon Fleisher and Ann Schein. Jerard has also participated in many international festivals including Aspen, Calgary, Banff and Orford.
In Australia, he has taught successfully at all levels, with many students receiving prizes and diploma awards with distinction. Past teaching positions including piano Faculty of the Newcastle Conservatorium, where he frequently performed as a soloist and chamber musician, the Australian Institute of Music, and as a regular member of the Pan Pacific Piano School. He has adjudicated major eisteddfods, conducted workshops for the MTA and UMTA throughout NSW, and is a senior piano examiner for the AMEB.