FROM ...JEANA'S DESK
Jeana, the Person
I was born and raised in Virginia, USA. From a very young age I had a love for music. I would go from room to room of our house with a 45 rpm record player – plugging it in and singing along. (For those from a different era – that was the iPod of the 1960’s and 70’s). Our first piano was an old upright that my parents bought from the neighbors and rolled down the street and into our basement. Shortly thereafter a devastating flood destroyed my family’s home and our first piano. It was several years later before my family was able to get a new piano, but it was always a cherished furniture piece in our home. I began taking formal lessons at the age of 9 from my music teacher at school, Debra Greeley. Mrs. Greeley was patient and inspirational (when I became a teacher myself, I sent her a letter of apology for all the times I showed up unprepared for my lesson). Despite my immaturity and lack of practice, Mrs. Greeley persevered with me, and I took away from my lessons a love for music and a love for the piano – I will ever be grateful for the gift Mrs. Greeley shared with me.
I was a fairly typical kid and practicing piano was not always at the top of my priority list, but I learned early on that my parents liked to hear me play so much that I could sometimes get out of my dishwashing chore if I was ‘busy’ practicing the piano. (Although I have a great love for cooking and being in the kitchen, I still prefer playing the piano over washing dishes).
In addition to my love for all things MUSIC, these are a few of my favorite things . . .
Favorite Color: red (or any shade of it – pink, maroon, burgundy, etc….)
Favorite Snack: trail mix
Favorite Musical: “The Sound of Music”
Favorite past-times: walking (long walks, short walks, all walks ), cooking, singing, sewing, creating, entertaining
Jeana, the Musician
My love for music and in particular singing has always been at the forefront of my musicianship. Alongside my piano lessons, I sang in choirs at school and at church throughout my childhood and teenage years. When I was a teen, I learned my best friend was taking voice lessons. It was then that I began to pray that God would give me the opportunity to study voice. That prayer was answered when I attended Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. There I was blessed to study voice with Lana Kelley. As a teacher, singer, and song writer, she imparted to me her wealth of experience and knowledge. After graduating from CFNI, I continued my vocal studies locally and internationally. My love for music and my quest to develop my musical skills even more led me to South Africa where I attended and graduated from the Psalmody Academy of the Performing Arts. It was under the instruction of Lisbe Visser that I discovered the true art of singing - adding personality, feeling, and emotion to the foundation of proper vocal technique elevates the singing voice to a whole new level. Whether on the stage performing, leading a congregation in worship, or teaching in the studio, the gift and richness of the human voice is comparable to no other instrument.
Jeana, the Teacher
While studying piano when I was a teen, my teacher asked if I would consider teaching other students. She explained there was a great need for teachers in our area, and apparently could see the gifting in me. I declined her invitation. I felt overwhelmed and unprepared to take on such a task. However, after graduating from CFNI, I was ready to accept the challenge as students arrived at my door... When I was 31, I can remember saying to my husband as he came home from work, “Honey, I know what I want to be when I grow up.” He looked at me with a rather puzzled look. “I want to teach!” I declared. He chuckled as I had just stepped out of our studio where I had been teaching piano and voice for the afternoon. Teaching, for me, is one of the most rewarding jobs someone can have. I have always loved teaching – even throughout school, I consistently tutored friends and younger students who struggled in one area or another. To see my students grow in their expression of music and all its marvel is a reward like no other. Over the past 20 years, I have had the incredible opportunity of instructing many students – young and old – in the fields of piano and voice. I have taught music in the classroom, private voice lessons, group voice lessons, private piano lessons, group piano lessons, vocal workshops, and more. I’m so glad I figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
I am thankful for every opportunity I have had to share the gift of music with others.