Jan Keefe returns to teaching music

Arts & Entertainment Community

NEW GLASGOW – Jan Keefe is reigniting her passion for music.

Keefe is leaving her position at Roots House to resume her career as a music teacher at the Centre of Music on Summit that has been established in New Glasgow.

The centre on Summit Avenue in New Glasgow was established by Marsha Sobey after she purchased and renovated the former residence.

“It is an exciting new venture and I am so happy to have Jan involved,” she said.

“It’s a big house that has been converted into a conservatory venue,” Keefe said. “It has blossomed and has become filled with music and students. I absolutely love teaching. It’s a place where I think I can make a difference for younger people.”

She is completing her second term at Roots House, which is operated by the Pictou County Roots for Youth Society and programme director Stacey Dlamini. It strives to provide better outcomes and opportunities for young people who have become their clients.

Keefe was a full-time event planner for one term and a part-time event planner and house administrator.

“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “There were so many new experiences for me.”

As examples, she referred to the young people she has worked with, her part in helping organize the annual Coldest Night Walk that raises funds for Roots House and the greenhouse where produce has grown beside the house.

“The most important part has been the youth themselves,” she said.

Keefe said she’s looking forward to teaching piano and voice to students aged three years and up, including adults of all ages. She will be teaching piano, music theory and developing early childhood programs.

“It’s a paying position as a private teacher,” she said.

Keefe recalled the building blocks she acquired while growing up in Pictou County, taking part in the New Glasgow Music Festival and graduating from university with a Bachelor of Music degree from Mount Allison University and an early childhood teaching diploma from the University of Calgary

“I had a wonderful teacher – Vesta Mosher,” she said.

Keefe hopes the Centre of Music will eventually include concerts, master classes and ensemble work. But she said she appreciates the timing of her opportunity to leave Roots House in a good place and rekindle her music career.

“I felt what we needed (at Roots House) was a youth worker,” she said. “We already have a youth worker, but it gave me the opportunity to transition to what I love, which is teaching music, without disruption here.”

Pictou County Roots for Youth Society programme director Stacey Dlamini stands with Jan Keefe in the hot house beside the Roots House in New Glasgow. (Goodwin photo)