Where Are They Now? Kelley Janáe

Meet Kelley Janáe, one of our breakout alums who participated in the Music Will Modern Band program and who discovered a passion for music that has lasted into adulthood.

After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a BS in Music Business, she’s made a successful music career for herself as a guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer in Nashville, TN. Some highlights for her have included working with artists and producers like Mike Will Made It, Keith Urban, and Offset, as well as brands including Red Bull and HP.

Kelley credits her success to her experience in the Music Will Modern Brand program, which she participated in starting in second grade and continued on through elementary school. Under the guidance of her teacher, Mark Hale, she was able to discover her passion for music starting at an early age.

Mr. Hale gave Kelley the opportunity to truly explore music by engaging in songs she loved. She fondly remembers coming into class after trying to learn the Ozzy Osbourne song Crazy Train on her own and performing it in class. Mr. Hale took her personal interest and turned it into an educational lesson for the entire class, helping all of the students engage in relevant music that they loved. 

Not only did she love exploring different styles of music through her guitar classes, Kelley has fond memories of the remarkable performance opportunities that she was able to participate in during her time in the Music Will Modern Band program. Her class was invited to perform on stages like B.B. King’s Monthly and the Ryman— giving Kelley her first taste of what it truly feels like to be a professional musician.

Kelley is a shining example of the importance of music education starting in elementary school where she found a passion for music that has lasted her into her adult years. She encourages all students, “Continue to have that interest in learning music. Never lose that passion and that drive and the motivation that you had in the classrooms!”

Help students like Kelley thrive by supporting Music Will’s efforts to bring music education to all. Learn more about our work and support here.

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