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I grew up in Hartington, Nebraska - a small town of about 1,600 people in the Northeastern part of the state. I went to a small Catholic school & my faith has always been a big part of my life. I asked my mom if I could start taking piano lessons when I was 10 years old. She agreed & I started taking lessons & I was immediately in love. I played all the time so I flew through the beginning lessons & was soon taking more advanced lessons from instructors who really challenged me & pushed me to be better. I remember one of my first piano teachers giving me a Clementi song & I came home & told my mom, "I think she thinks I'm better than I am!!" However, she obviously knew what I was capable of because I mastered that song & continually expanded my piano "library" & pushed myself to learn more challenging music.
By the age of 14, I had started writing my own piano music. I'm not sure how it happened ... I think it was just meant to be. It wasn't like one day I decided, "Today I'm going to try to write a piano song." I actually remember the moment that I came up with the melody for "Reflections of Joy" in my head (I was singing in the shower....haha!) I then decided to try to play it on the piano & pretty soon, I was adding embellishments with the left hand, chords, etc. It was almost an out of body experience, but pretty soon my first composition was born. This lit some type of fire in me & started this domino effect where I just could not stop composing. I would go to bed dreaming of melodies & wake up ready to tackle the song to make the dream a reality. I composed 12 songs in that year.
Now that I had those 12 songs composed, my parents & I thought it would be a good idea to record those songs onto a CD! We found someone near our hometown with a recording studio, so we went to check it out. Turns out, in his actual studio, he only had a electronic keyboard which didn't have the full set of keys. However, he had a baby grand piano in his house, so we decided to use that instead. For that first session, I was under the impression that he would be able to edit the tracks & that I wouldn't have to play them perfectly exactly as I wanted it to sound on the CD. I played through 9 of my songs that day. For the next session, he informed me that because of the complex nature of the piano & the fact that we weren't in his actual recording studio, he was not going to be able to edit the tracks as he thought & so I would have to play the songs exactly how I wanted them to sound on the CD. As a 14 year old girl who did NOT do very good under pressure, this took some of the wind out of my sails & I just kind of shut down. I was overwhelmed & feeling immense pressure to get it perfect that I could not even get through one song that day.
This experience did something to me that I cannot really explain. I remember thinking that suddenly, this amazing passion of mine was feeling more like a job that I had to do for everyone else rather than something I did to make myself happy. I was young & didn't know how to handle these feelings. I remember crying about it a lot & writing in my journal trying to sort through these weird teenage/hormonal issues. Haha! Long story short, I never wrote another song for 10 years, although I still took lessons throughout high school from a professor at a college in Yankton & still enjoyed playing other people's music. That composition spark was just put to rest for awhile.
Fast forward 10 years & I had just gotten married & moved into a duplex in Valentine, NE with my wonderful new husband, Brandon. The best housewarming gift I received was from my parents .... my piano! After a 4 year hiatus from piano in college (simply due to lack of access to a piano), it felt really good to be reconnected to that part of me. My passion was reignited, the composition spark was back, & pretty soon I had written a new song, "The Echo," & I've been writing music ever since!
As an adult, the spark feels different this time around & I don't see it going anywhere anytime soon ;) I feel a strong drive to share my gifts with the world & make my music accessible to others! I decided to schedule a recording session to record those original 12 songs that started it all. I released that album, "Reflections of Joy" in early 2016 & have since composed 12 more for my 2nd CD, "New Beginnings," which has a goal release date of December 1, 2016 . I am beyond excited to have finally accomplish this goal. Not finishing that CD way back when had been the one thing that I have regretted in my life so far. However, I believe that God has a reason for everything & I'm just glad that I still have the opportunity to reach this dream of mine. I believe that experience has been a big contributing factor to who I am today & it has fueled my current passion for my work beyond words. There's no stopping me now! ;)
If you are still reading this, I seriously love you. I know this is a long bio, but I want to be completely vulnerable & let everyone know my true story!
THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for visiting my page. I'd be so honored if you could stick with me through the rest of this journey & the exciting things to come in my piano world! I'd love to connect with you, so I'd be beyond grateful if you would join my email list so we can stay connected! You can also reach out to me personally via email at email@example.com.
Thanks for following my melody! Love, Janeen
"Days on Grandma's Farm"
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Biography reprinted with permission
Janeen has more videos on her YouTube channel.
"Reflections of Joy"
-- Real Piano Music
We truly enjoy Janeen's pleasant, relaxing and easy listening style. Her music is soothing and satisfying--never pretentious. A lovely example is her composition, "The Promise," her touching homage to weddings and the union that takes place between a man, woman, and God...(video below). Everyone will enjoy Janeen's wonderfully refreshing piano music. We are pleased to welcome Janeen Arens, a truly gifted musician, to the Artist Gallery.
Janeen Arens has been a featured artist on Real Piano Music.com since July 14, 2016.
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