Creating filtered version of banner image.


Anyone Can Play Music

Click here to register for Janet's free video guitar lesson series for beginners

"Your songs are so personal to you and you invite everyone in to enjoy them. I love each and every one. Sometimes performers can seem detached and going through the motions. I never feel that with your songs. They hit some special note for everyone."

Lynn Swiniarski

“Janet Feld's guitar playing is a pleasure to listen to - she finds a way to keep the rhythm going while adding a lovely little riff. In a world of strumming, she looks for interesting picking patterns. She understands the guitar. She knows how to play it - and how to teach it.”

Cosy Sheridan

"If you had been on stage with Taylor Swift and Carly Simon you would have been just as good!  I believe in you Janet!"

Lily, age 7

"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon

That’s how I became a musician and music teacher.

When I was 13, I became a counselor in training at my summer day camp, every morning my sister Barb and I would sit in a circle playing guitar and singing songs with the campers.  Within a couple of weeks, the director had me teaching music and drama classes. I didn’t think of it as a career path though, I just thought I was having fun with the kids.

In college I studied psychology and thought I’d eventually become a therapist. I loved my classes, the many activities available on campus and found myself drawn in particular to people who played music.  I started writing songs and made regular trips to the used record store. Then I started showing up at dorm coffeehouses and asking to play. My hands would shake so badly from nerves, I could hardly play but by the time I was done and walking off the stage I would always think, “I want to do that again!” Little did I know, this meant I was screwed for life! LOL

Sophomore year, my friend David dropped out to become a musician full time.  I was so jealous. But I loved being in school and wanted to get my degree so I promised myself that if I finished that I would let myself be a musician.

A year or so after I graduated college, I spent a couple of months traveling through Europe with a backpack, guitar and Eurail Pass.  I played music on the streets and in youth hostels and was amazed and moved by the people I met who had no investment in liking what I did, but kept me up to the wee hours playing song after song.  It gave me the confidence to make my first demo tape when I got home (yep, a cassette with 4 songs on it) I started making trips to the post office to send out press kits and my journey of being a performing songwriter began.  Now 30+ years later I still can’t help but do what I need to do to get on stages and play from time to time. See what I mean about being screwed for life?

After I’d been performing on the folk circuit for a couple of years, David called me and asked if I’d apply for a job as the music specialist at the local JCC summer camp.  He’d taken the job then had been given an opportunity to spend the summer in Israel and didn’t want to leave them high and dry. I interviewed for the job and got it. The first time I met with a group of campers to sing, I felt like I’d come home. But for the first few years I was teaching at the camp and eventually at the JCC pre-school, I figured that I’d just teach until I got “famous”.

But over the years I started to notice that just about every teaching job I got was one where someone asked me to apply.  At one point in the 90s I didn’t teach at all for a couple of years and missed it terribly. In the fall of 1998 I decided I would move in the direction of teaching full time since I finally realized that teaching completes the creative circle for me; when I’m teaching, I’m happier and write more.  Within three weeks, I got a call out of the blue from an old friend asking if I’d sub for the music teacher at a local synagogue who was on maternity leave. By the fall of 1999 I was teaching, writing and performing music full time and haven’t looked back.

Since the 80s, I’ve had the honor of traveling around the country performing at coffeehouses and festivals.  I even got to do a tour in Spain a few years ago. I’ve taught music to classes of adults, pre-schoolers to middle school kids at schools and camps, plus offered private guitar and piano lessons to people as young as 4 and as old as 89.

A few years ago I founded my own music school, Janet’s Planet: Music Lessons for Humanoids, Inc. ™ . On Janet’s Planet, I continue to offer private lessons, monthly jam sessions, retreat weekends and perform concerts.  Beginning in 2016, my husband John and I began leading small groups of people on vacation tours to Ireland, our Ireland Site & Music Excursion - A Cultural Immersion Experience.

John Lennon was right about life happening when we’re making other plans and I’m in love with what that’s looked like for me. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

An Interview with Janet.....

How long have you been teaching music?
I’ve been teaching music since 1988.  Since then I’ve taught people of all ages and abilities in general music classes, private guitar and piano lessons, songwriting, ensemble groups and group guitar lessons.

How long have you been a performing songwriter?
I’ve been a performing songwriter since 1986, playing at clubs and coffeehouses nationwide and some overseas.

I’m tone deaf and have no music talent, can I still learn to play music?

The only people who are tone deaf are deaf.  If you can hear, speak and feel like it, then you can learn to play music.

What kind of people do you work best with?

1. People who believe that only the “special talented” people can learn but wish they could too.

2. Guitar players who are terrified of barre chords and want to make friends with them.

3. Crazy, busy people who think they don’t have time to learn but would love to.

4. Anyone who has the desire to learn.

How are you different from other music teachers?
When you study with me you not only learn technique and theory, you also get an enthusiastic cheerleader.  I understand the emotional hurdles that leave you feeling like you can’t learn and help you leap over them.  My mission is to take the mystery out of learning to play music and give you full access to playing your favorite songs.

How do you work? What can I expect?
All technique and theory are taught in the context of playing songs; it’s easier and way more fun.  I have a vast repertoire of songs to work with but you can also request your favorites.  Students register for lessons by semester which includes sheet music, “let me take the mystery out of it” theory handouts, practice mp3s and recitals.  All of my students receive a weekly newsletter with free video lessons and helpful information about playing music.

Can I just sign up for one session with you?

I’m an awesome teacher but not the best fit for everyone. You can sign up for an introductory lesson and decide for yourself.  Then you can choose to pay for the lesson or register for the semester.

I’m really busy and overwhelmed. How much time is involved before I get results?

Being an over-scheduled, over-functioning New Englander I totally get this!  I offer my students a simple, manageable practice regimen that totally fits even your whack schedule – 5 days a week, 10 minutes.  One of my students who works crazy hours at a really stressful job calls her guitar lessons, “my valium”.  They help her stay centered and grounded in the midst of her weekly madness.  Even she has the time to practice, has made friends with barre chords and is comfortable playing all sorts of songs.

I want to study guitar with you but I don’t live in the Boston area.

I offer 4 levels of video guitar lessons based on my classes at The Passim School of Music.  Learn guitar from me on your schedule at home.  I also teach students via Skype.  You can email or call me any time when you have questions.

Looking for more information? Email me at

P.O. Box 45285
Somerville, Massachusetts
02145  USA