LEWISPORTE, N.L. — Piano and violin teacher Megan Janes began advertising for local students before she and her new husband Dennis moved into their home in Lewisporte this past March.
She has been teaching in her home studio (formerly the dining room) ever since. She enjoys sharing her love of music with students.
“People here have been great,” she said. “I love living here and my students are fantastic.
“I pour my heart and soul into teaching and try to fit the lesson methods to each individual student. Besides learning to read music and acquiring the skills to play, I want my students to have fun and enjoy their lessons.”
Janes grew up in Carbonear before moving to the United States to study Music and Communications at Evangel University (Missouri) and then Audio Engineering and Production at the Art Institute of Seattle. She moved back to St. John’s after her 2007 graduation and worked at various radio stations, and a local publication before beginning to teach lessons at Long and McQuade, a music store and school in St. John’s, about five years ago.
Working at Long and McQuade wasn’t her first teaching experience, though.
“In high school I started teaching to save money for college, and picked up teaching again in 2013 at Long and McQuade in St. John's,” Janes said. “I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a teacher, my mother always said I would make a good one, and don't tell her but she was right, I love it.”
Janes, who received a music scholarship for college, has been studying piano and violin since she was very young and has won multiple awards through the Kiwanis Music Festival. She wants to ensure her students have similar opportunities.
“Many of my students have performed in the Kiwanis Music Festival in St. John's as well as many festivals/events in their area,” Janes said. “I hope to continue that here by putting off recitals and giving them as many opportunities as possible to perform and compete.”
Even though music is joyful and fun for Janes and her students, she wants to ensure that they recognize the work involved in developing music skills.
“I believe music is a way of expressing yourself, but like most things it takes hard work and dedication,” Janes said. “Just like athletes who train hard to be the best, we have to work hard at what we love in order to achieve our goals.”
She says, however, that the work is worthwhile.
“The rewards can be big if you persevere...bringing joy to others, self-expression and for myself personally I found a career that not only helps support my family but I love it as well,” Janes said. “I would not be the person I am today without playing music.”
While she enjoys teaching both, Janes says there is a distinct difference between learning piano and learning violin.
“Piano is easier to learn. The notes are all right there and with practice and study it can come quite naturally,” Janes said. “Violin I find there is a distinct moment in time where the ‘lightbulb’ comes on.
“Violin can be almost like a puzzle, when all the pieces fit together and everything I've taught them turns into this beautiful sound that sounds crisp and clear....that's when I know they got it. Their eyes light up, my eyes light up — it just makes my day.”
Janes enjoys playing a variety of music herself — especially songs that normally wouldn’t be played on violin or piano — and she encourages her students to enjoy a wide range of songs as well.
“I've done mash ups with classic rock with some classical mixed in....I pretty much like to play everything and taking on challenges,” Janes said. “I really like bringing that out in my students as well — sky is the limit. If you like it, I'll try to help you learn it.”
Janes is enthusiastic about her music, and about her work, and she hopes to pass that enthusiasm on to her students.
“I love my job and I want everyone who steps in the studio to love the lessons just as much as I do.”