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Dr. Janice F.

UCLA PhD makes it fun to learn 'cello, piano, chamber music!

North Hills, CA (91343)

Travel radius
18 miles
Hourly fee
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Dr. Janice F. passed a background check on 12/25/13. The check was ordered by Dr. Janice through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

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I am delighted to have this opportunity to share my 30 years plus of teaching experience as a new tutor with the WyzAnt tutoring company. My academic and performing backgrounds complement one another - I have worked with all types of musicians, including Grammy winners Herbie Hancock and YoYo Ma; coached actors such as Samuel L. Jackson during his role as a 'cello playing cop, and performed music with musicians from around the world, as well as having taught music in the Western European tradition.

As an ethnomusicologist I understand music of other cultures and as a pianist/'cellist I have enjoyed sharing my vast musical repertoire with my students. My greatest hope is to share my varied musical experiences and expertise on both the 'cello and the piano with enthusiastic young people who are eager to learn and to perform. Of course, I pray each one will also "practice"!

I would also like to form an international young peoples' orchestra, that would include ethnic instruments. Since I do believe music to be a healing force and a link to all people, it is with this orchestra we could travel to various schools in the community to perform and reach out to all young people, even if they do not play a musical instrument.

I look forward to teaching those who have a yearning to practice hard yet enjoy the music that has reached out to humanity for many years. It is through you, the young musician, that our communities will be sustained by the great music you will produce from your instrument. My method is not "set in stone" which means for each student my approach is flexible and comfortable according to what you want to do with your music, and the goals you have in mind for yourself.

You should have a burning desire to learn an instrument and a commitment to serious practice while still enjoying what you do. I also encourage my students to create their own musical compositions which they will share during recitals that I have, at least twice a year.

In the student recitals everyone performs, and I acknowledge hard work and creativity with certificates of commendation. The grand finale of the recital is a tasty reception, afterwards. In the past, I was even able to organize some students to play for a ribbon cutting event which included a visit by that town's mayor! You never know who just may pop up at my recitals and where your playing may take you on your journey through your musical studies with me!

One of my students was so creative that we took one whole afternoon and made a CD of all his original piano compositions. He studied with me from the age of 9 until he turned 17. He told me that he will never forget his time at the piano and I don't think his dog will either! Jacob, his black Lab, dutifully stayed in the room during each lesson and enjoyed Sam's creativity as much as any human did. I wonder to this day just how much the piano music not only changed Sam's life but the dog's life, as well!

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Dr. Janice’s subjects

Corporate Training:


My Ph.D. is actually in Ethnomusicology, which includes the study of music outside of the Western European tradition. I have 30 years of teaching experience, both on the cello and on the piano. I had also some wonderful coaching experiences with chamber music, plus a master class with my New American Quartet for college students. My academic and performing backgrounds complement one another - I have worked with all types of musicians and performed music with them from around the world.
My own study of the cello began around the age of 9 years old when I heard my elementary school orchestra perform. I knew my audition to that orchestra would put me in the principal chair position (and it did!). Since then I have also coached cello sections locally and have enjoyed teaching cellists of all ages, whether as a private lesson or as class instruction on the cello.
Whether beginning, intermediate or advanced, the student will learn the basics of cello playing to include the technical aspects of shifting to different positions, all scales/arpeggios, various bow techniques, and regular warm-ups to complement the repertoire that is to be studied. Note reading is a must so if you had Suzuki before, it is time to learn how to read the music! In addition to learning the classical repertoire, other types of music will be added including the folk music from around the world, popular American music, and any favorites the student may want to explore. Encouraged is the creation of the student's own compositions which will be featured during regular student recitals. I also hope to incorporate cello ensembles from duets to octets! It is always fun to make music for and with others.

General Music

I hold a Ph.D in Ethnomusicology and I have 30 years plus of teaching experience. My academic and performing backgrounds complement one another - I have worked with all types of musicians and performed music with them from around the world.

General music will include the study of Major and minor scales/chords and other harmonic basics with much of it explained at the piano. I would like to combine this with piano lessons since I did not see piano listed as part of the subjects I want to teach, along with the 'cello. There will be a look at music in other countries in contrast to our Western European musical tradition. I will bring in various musical examples for the student to hear and then suggest a reading/listening list to complement each lesson. This could also be a group class as well. The student will be able to hear the difference between various styles of music, whether the mode is major or minor, and also be able to notate the basic rhythmic patterns of each piece featured. The student(s) will be invited to hear my 'cello/piano students during their recitals and I will expect them to describe the pieces they hear with regards to place in history, mode, and rhythmic characteristics.


I have been enthusiastically teaching piano and 'cello for 30 years, in addition to coaching chamber music. My own piano studies began at the age of 6 1/2 years old, in Seattle, Washington. I won many competitions and always scored high in tests and auditions, as well as having won 2 prizes for original piano compositions. With regards to teaching piano: for any age, I would like the student to be able to find and recognize black/white key patterns that make it possible to find each note with the incorporation of interval recognition. Next, it is imperative to be able to recognize notes at sight. The beginning student will buy flashcards to start memorizing notes in the treble clef then in the bass clef. There are many great piano books at there to begin with and whatever book that is used, I will supplement it with basic scale, arpeggio and chord study, as well as simple exercises for playing warm-up. I also feel that the music student should sing the music they are learning to play so that they will have an easier time phrasing what they are playing. Pianists and other instrumentalists need to breath just as wind, brass and singers do - I have heard too many auditions and judged many competitions where the performer played like a robot - lacked musicality and phrasing in the music.
The student will go through simple versions of the Baroque and Classical periods, supplemented with folk music from here and around the world. The more advanced ones will also add more contemporary pieces, as well as some popular pieces or current favorites. In addition, I like each student to express their creativity through original compositions which will be performed at recitals, hopefully, done twice a year. Sometimes I like to invite guest artists to help inspire the students and I often will assist the beginning student by playing duets with them which can bring them more confidence at performance time! I hope the student I teach will practice at least half an hour daily and try to play for others as they gain more confidence in their piano playing. As long as the student that comes to me really wants to play and is not there under "forced conditions," i.e. parent(s) wants them to be there, I know that his/her experience will be great and a happy one. If the student doesn't "enjoy" playing the piano, what is the point? Certificates of recognition I also give within the student recitals - being recognized for one's efforts and accomplishments is very important.


I have had to write various research papers that required proofreading, prior to their submission, while a graduate student both at C.S.U.N., and at U.C.L.A. While doing the research, I have also caught many mistakes online, in books, and in academic articles, much to my dismay! As a Ph.D. graduate student at U.C.L.A. in Ethnomusicology, I had to write a dissertation which of course required a high level of writing skills, and much proofreading, prior to handing it in to my Dissertation Committee. Needless to say, I automatically proofread everything whether I want to or not. I love expressing my ideas through the written word, and look forward to helping others in their writing and proofreading endeavors.


In addition to research articles, I have also written articles for music newsletters, and of course, I have a published dissertation. I enjoy various styles of writing, and others recognize my joy in doing so. Perhaps I transfer my performance skills in communicating my musical ideas via my 'cello or piano to the pen, pencil, or computer keyboard when writing. Isn't that an interesting comparison?

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CSUN (Music)

CSUN (Master's)


Great piano teacher! — My daughter takes piano lessons from Dr. Janice and we feel very fortunate to have found her. She is very patient, understanding and teaches at a pace my daughter is comfortable with. She is always very encouraging and full of praise which means so much to my daughter. She is the first teacher that we have found that my daughter really enjoys taking lessons from. I really enjoy hearing the progres ...

— Lynne, Simi Valley, CA on 8/26/14

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $70.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

If there is a family needing lessons for more than one member, I would be happy to give a discount of $5 on the total.

Travel policy

Dr. Janice will travel within 18 miles of North Hills, CA 91343.

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