Janis Kaplan, Educator and Cellist


As a passionate musician, Janis Kaplan is thrilled that performing classical music occupies such a large part of her life.  As an orchestral cellist, Janis has had the pleasure of performing on the stages of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, the DiMenna Center, and Trinity Church in New York City, and at NJPAC, SOPAC, and the Great Auditorium in New Jersey.


Janis currently performs as cellist with the Livingston Symphony Orchestra, the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, the Adelphi Orchestra, and as a violinist with the NJIT String Ensemble. She also regularly plays for outreach recitals, celebrations, and special events both as soloist and as a member of the Adagio String Ensemble. 


Fortunate to grow up in an upstate New York community where the arts flourished, Janis was introduced to the cello at age nine by her public school system. Under the wings of her cellist string teachers, Rebecca Spena and Denise Heckel, Janis quickly developed into a skilled player.  Through high school she studied privately with David Mordoff, and later Stephen Stalker as she prepared for conservatory auditions.  By the age of 14, Janis was also intensively studying the violin under Barbara Lundy and Kathy Murphy. 


Throughout her schooling Janis was the winner of multiple scholarship competitions.  She was principal cellist in the Binghamton Youth Symphony while also taking many opportunities to play with the Binghamton Philharmonic and Summer Savoyards.


Janis received her most intensive performance training from “the Grand Dame of Cellists”, the late Zara Nelsova, while studying at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, NJ.  She built her orchestral repertoire playing along side graduate performers with the Rutgers University Orchestra under the baton of Richard Auldon Clark.


As an educator, Janis specializes in introducing music to very young children.  Assisting in music therapy classes at Rutgers sparked her interest to explore early education further.  In 2006, Janis received her Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Raritan Valley Community College.  Her creative use of rhythm with toddlers earned her the Certificate of Excellence out of 80 candidates in her degree program. 


With twelve years of preschool classroom experience, Janis has become an expert at tailoring age appropriate and engaging music lessons for two-to four-year olds.  She has led several professional development workshops over the years, guiding other early educators across the state of New Jersey in how to use music to build self-esteem and literacy in preschool classrooms.


While not practicing, Janis enjoys cooking, watching horror movies and Golden Girls, and making her own skincare recipes.  She is married to Jason Kaplan, and they live with two cats and a dog.

© 2015 New Jersey Music Society

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