Janice was born in Kansas into a musical family. She comes from a long line of singers, poets and piano players. Her dad, a jazz pianist and songwriter was an early IBM research engineer and holds patents on many early computer devices (like the floppy drive). The oldest of three girls, she also remembers regularly gathering around the family piano to sing broadway show tunes with her mom at the piano. She attributes her early music education inspiration to great teachers like Charlie Pyle and Don Bergstrom in the Campbell Union School District classroom music programs. In particular, Janice enjoyed the summer music camps, participating every summer for six years, learning violin, flute and clarinet and later becoming concertmistress of her school orchestras.
Janice did not start out with the intention of majoring in music, but majored first in pyschology and natural science -- not only because she loved these subjects, but largely because she thought they were more academic and challenging. She was pleasantly surprised when, after changing her major to music, she found out how intensely academic the deeper study of music really was! After completing her BA with honors, her love for psychology, science, and music came together while taking a multi-discipline graduate class at the University of Colorado Medical School. This class (called the Biology of Music Making) was the key to her inspiration to combine child development, pyschology and music education together in a way that would embrace the youngest learners in a fun learning environment.
As a Christian, Janice also credits God as a source of inspiration to found The Music Place and develop its signature curriculum, Early Music Awareness (EMA). This was at a time in the early 80's when few other American teachers were approaching these youngest of kids. Today she enjoys using her unique education and 40+ years teaching experience to serve as the head of the Educational Placement Team at The Music Place, bringing valuable guidance to families about how to navigate the often daunting journey of music education for the whole child. She and her husband Mike serve together as co-directors.
Janice and Mike have 4 grown children and 11 grandchildren. Janice's favorite hobby is shopping at second-hand stores for furniture and decor and helping people beautify their home interiors "on a shoestring."
Because of her administrative role serving families through assessments and consultations, Janice does not often teach these days, but she is a warm, sweet, lively, and sometimes silly teacher. Her students get through each class feeling like they were only playing, but little do they know they were actually learning a great deal. She genuinely cares for each and every student, not just in their musical journey but also for who they are as people.
"Today was Jessica's first bass lesson. We've come so far in five weeks. We met Janice at The Music Place early July. She was so kind and encouraging to help Jessica open up about her likes and dislikes about musical instruments. Janice gathered that Jessica has a desire to be her own unique self. Janice arranged for 3 musical surveys. Jessica tried everything from a Didgeridoo, Tibetian Drums, Harp, Ukulele and banjo just to name a few of the many instruments presented to Jessica. The musical surveys allowed Jessica to try something new, touch and feel the instruments and she loved the experience. Ultimately, Jessica selected the Electric Bass guitar. Janice has keen insights into helping children find the instrument they are naturally drawn too. I've enjoyed every conversation with Janice and felt she had Jessica's best interests in mind. I never felt sold or forced into something. I highly recommend The Music Place." ~ Denise B.