Music With A Smile and Janie Next Door

About Jane Christison, Accordionist

With her engaging smile and entertaining personality, no matter where in the world, or what the occasion, you’re sure to enjoy Jane Christison’s MUSIC WITH A SMILE® and JANIE NEXT DOOR® performances!

Music With A Smile and Janie Next Door with Jane Christison | MusicWithASmile.comIf you ever get to see a live performance by accordionist and singer Jane Christison, you’ll be dazzled by her big smile, personality and an enthusiasm for playing the accordion that shines through in every single note. And it seems quite fitting that she advertises as “Music With A Smile®!”

How it all started...

Jane grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When she was nine years old, her Mom received a phone call asking, “Would you like to give your child a free musical test?" She said, “Sure, come on over.”  Since Jane was the oldest kid in the family, she got to take the test. Jane says that she doesn’t remember much about it other than that the man told her parents that she got a good score. He had a package deal of six weeks of lessons and the rental of a 12-bass accordion. 

She loved playing the accordion right from the very first lesson. After the six weeks of lessons were over, she was given another test.  “Oh, Mr. and Mrs. Christison, your daughter is so talented!” Jane says, “I’m guessing that they told all the parents that, because that’s when they sold us an accordion, and I’ve been playing ever since.”

She moved to Kansas City to study accordion with Joan Cochran Sommers at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Accordion Performance.

Touring around the world...

As a member of the UMKC Accordionaires, Jane traveled and performed with USO Shows.  She sang and danced in addition to playing the accordion. The first tour took her to the Far East, playing at military bases in Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Guam. A second USO tour took her to the Azores and Germany. She says “We didn’t get paid very much, but what a fantastic experience!”

Learn about Jane Christison | MusicWithASmile.comAs a member of the UMKC Accordion Orchestra, Jane has performed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Scotland, Sweden, Russia, Estonia, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Italy. She feels lucky to have traveled to so many different places because of the accordion.

Becoming a full-time, professional accordionist...

After graduation, Jane joined the Musicians’ Union and started playing professionally in the Kansas City area.  She built up a repertoire of old standards, Broadway tunes, German music, Irish, Italian, French and Russian music, along with Christmas music and sing-along songs.  She played for restaurants, country clubs, corporate events, cocktail parties, strolling work, Breakfast with Santa, parties at beautiful homes, bus tours of Kansas City’s Christmas lights and even an Irish wake.  She was the first woman elected to the Kansas City Federation of Musicians’ Board of Directors. 

Since November of 2000, Jane has played over 1,500 performances for retirement communities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, seniors groups and memory care units.  She comes up with programs that make the audience feel like they are actually part of the performance rather than just an audience member politely clapping at the end of a song. 

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Katie Rhodes

The residents really respond to Jane’s music and personality. A resident told me that “Jane’s music is like sunshine”.

Katie Rhodes, Activities Director
Kansas City, Missouri

Kim Manford

Thank you for coming to our school!  The children and teachers had a wonderful time. The children were engaged and interested.  I love that you taught the children about the accordion. What a fun morning!

Kim Manford, Preschool Co-Director
Kansas City, Missouri

Leona Murphy

It was fun to see someone play the accordion. Great idea getting the children and families to participate!

Leona Murphy, Preschool Director
Overland Park, Kansas

Marielle Scarborough

This is the most excited my residents have ever been about a performance. We will definitely have her back!

Marielle Scarborough, Enrichment Coordinator
St. Joseph, Missouri

Rita Davidson

The tunes on “Come Sing Along With Janie Next Door” are catchy, the lyrics easy to remember, and Jane’s enthusiasm for music is contagious! Elementary school children will be captivated by the fun and “get involved” mood created by Jane. I recommend this CD to parents, children, music teachers, and elementary school teachers who want to create some lively and enjoyable moments for their students!

Rita Davidson, National Editor

Susan D. Brown

The children, ages 2 1/2 to 12 years, were all active, involved and excited about the performance. Janie’s ability to capture an audience is amazing!

Susan D. Brown, Assistant Director, Early Education Center
Shawnee, Kansas

Elana Wagner

Jane is a very interactive and energetic performer . . . The residents love her!

Elana Wagner, Activities Manager
Lee's Summit, Missouri

Cathy Slavik

Jane’s performances are always high energy. Her variety of tunes reaches all the residents for it taps into long-term memory-evoking verbal and non-verbal responses, movements and sparks conversation that continues after the program.  Enhancing her program would be difficult for we already like all she does.

Cathy Slavik, CTRS, Recreational Therapist
Lenexa, Kansas

Bev Lentz

Jane is personality plus. She knows what folks enjoy and does her best at every performance to deliver. Folks were still talking about the performance a week later.

Bev Lentz, Activities Director
Kansas City, Missouri

Debbie Gray

Janie’s collection of original songs is entertaining for adults and a blast for kids!  The tunes are catchy, the lyrics cute and informative, the sound effects are novel, the energy is contagious and the endless variety of styles and sounds provide something for everyone to love!  Equally exciting, there is an abundance of concept samples that connect beautifully to state Fine Arts standards, making this CD a music educator’s dream.

Debbie Gray, BME, MAT Educator, Author and Keynote Speaker
Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Jackie Kamin

Jane is delightful . . . Her smile is contagious.

Jackie Kamin, Apartments Concierge
Kansas City, Missouri

Tina Shelite

Jane is a wonderful performer.  She has a beautiful voice, a lovely smile, and our residents love her. She does a fantastic job encouraging them to join her.  We really enjoy her!

Tina Shelite, Director of Activities
Leawood, Kansas

Emily Hagen

She is always smiling and you can see that she really enjoys what she does.

Emily Hagen, Activities Director
Overland Park, Kansas

Ginette Ritter

Jane is professional yet brings such a ray of sunshine & energy perfect for our community. The residents sing along, tap their feet & clap their hands. She has a wonderful way of bringing the residents out of their shell.

Ginette Ritter, Activities Director
Raytown, Missouri

Peggy Snodgrass

Most terrific! Very energizing and fun! We loved the Come Sing Along With Janie Next Door program as much as the children did.

Peggy Snodgrass, Preschool Director
Lee’s Summit, MO

Aimee Alderman

Jane engaged parents and children in fun, easy-to-sing songs. She exercised their muscles with marching and skipping, their brains with clapping and interesting vocabulary, and their spirits with her joyful program. Parents and children alike had so much fun. It was wonderful to see families enjoy this experience together!

Aimee Alderman, Coordinator, Parent as Teachers Association
Kansas City, Missouri

Diane Crnkovich

The residents enjoyed Jane’s performance very much.  They tell me “She makes us feel young, brings back memories and puts a smile on our faces.

Diane Crnkovich, Activities Director
Overland Park, Kansas

Dawn Schnake

My preschooler and first-grader love Janie!

Dawn Schnake, Mom
Overland Park, Kansas

Abbie Grooms

The residents loved Jane’s energy, music, and personality.  The performance was great.

Abbie Grooms, Director of Lifestyles
Leawood, Kansas

Penny Snodgrass

Most terrific! Very energizing and fun! We loved the Come Sing Along With Janie Next Door program as much as the children did.

Penny Snodgrass, Preschool Director
Lee’s Summit, Missouri

Jane Rink

Accordion music, marching, silly songs = FUN! Janie Next Door was a huge hit at our library, for young and old alike! We can’t wait to have her back!

Jane Rink, Early Child Coordinator, Bonner Springs City Library
Bonner Springs, Kansas

Amanda Noland

The music was wonderful! So many of our residents made comments to me about how much they enjoyed the music and how Jane just smiled through the whole performance. It was excellent!

Amanda Noland, Activities Director
St. Joseph, Missouri

Toi Hunt

Her smile alone brightens up the room before she even plays a note. Add her music and the whole room feels like it will burst with glee. Jane surely lifts up our resident’s spirits and causes them to escape their daily life.

Toi Hunt, Activities Director
Kansas City, Missouri

Cy Richards

As a grandparent, I’m well past childhood, but I thoroughly enjoyed all the songs on the CD. The tunes, the words, the sound effects are so much fun, that you can’t help joining in by singing along, tapping your toes and even getting up and dancing. I can hardly wait to share this CD with my grandkids.

Cy Richards, Grandfather
Overland Park, Kansas

Amy Schroeder

I work with Pam P., and she recently bought me  “Janie Next Door” CD for my two kiddos, ages two and four. They LOVE it! My two-year-old son always asks for “owside song” (1st on the CD), and my four-year-old asks for a different one each day: the lunchbox song, the shoe song, etc.

I’m amazed at how often my daughter will break out into one of your songs after something was said similar. And, because of “I Had Beans Last Night”, my kids now eat any kind of bean I put in front of them, just so they can sing the song! I like the CD for its originality, and I really admire your talent!

Amy Schroeder, Mom
Overland Park, Kansas

Lynn Wollard

For 30 minutes Janie had our 3-5 year olds under her musical spell! She invited student involvement, and the kids loved that.

Lynn Wollard, Preschool Director
Kansas City, Missouri

Jamie Ellis

Jane’s program was unique and entertaining.

Jamie Ellis, Activities Director
Olathe, Kansas

About Janie Next Door with Jane Christison | MusicWithASmile.comDuring her programs, Jane reminisces about different things, depending on the time of year. She has been told that sometimes the residents will talk for days about things she mentioned during her performances. Her favorite compliment is when someone tells her they had fun with the music.

Introducing children to the accordion...

Somewhere along the line, while playing all these programs for senior audiences, she started waking up with tunes in her head. 

Jane tells people, “I spent four years studying music at the UMKC Conservatory and never wrote a song. I spent years playing professionally and never wrote a song, I never even dreamed I could write a song. Yet, here I was waking up with tunes in my head, and I paid attention to them, working with the melodies and writing words to them.  No one was more surprised than I was when they turned out to be children’s songs.” 

In order to market her award-winning children’s CD, “Come Sing Along with Janie Next Door™,” she started playing for preschools, then libraries and festivals.

Jane recently finished the “Come Sing Along with Janie Next Door™ Learning Guide,” which she is working on marketing.  Using classroom-tested techniques by music educator Debbie Gray, the book connects her children’s songs with reading fluency and comprehension, art, math, language arts, physical education and even a couple of science lessons.  Feedback received from educators has told her that the Learning Guide is a great way to integrate music in the classroom, even if you’re not a musician

Jane says, “As Janie Next Door®, I’m having so much fun introducing children to the accordion, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this newest chapter in my musical career will take me!”  The CD and books are available in her online shop.

Jane has been featured as a guest artist and workshop presenter at: 

  • The National Accordion Association, Inc.
  • The Accordionists and Teachers Guild, International (ATG)
  • The American Accordionists’ Association
  • The Las Vegas International Accordion Convention
  • World Accordion Day Celebration, A World of Accordions Museum, Superior, Wisconsin

She is a member of: 

  • The American Federation of Musicians
  • Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity
  • ASCAP
  • The Children’s Music Network
  • Kansas City Young Audiences – Teaching Artist

Global Accordion Project Orchestra - Peace 2020

Jane joined accordionists from around the world to give this virtual, moving performance of 'Peace' by Ian Watson.

Learn more about the fun!

Music With A Smile and Janie Next Door with Jane Christison | MusicWithASmile.com

Accordionist and singer Jane Christison is known for her trademarked Music With A Smile®  Her performances are filled with personality and an enthusiasm for playing the accordion that shines through.

Find out how to have her bring the music and fun to your event, party, facility, or organization.

About Music With A Smile | MusicWithASmile.com
Janie Next Door with Jane Christison | MusicWithASmile.com

Jane Christison, also known as children’s musician, Janie Next Door®, has developed a whole menu of live musical programs for kids, using an instrument they don’t get to see very often – an accordion. 

Check out kid-approved fun, the repertoire of catchy tunes, booking info, and more details about Janie Next Door by clicking the button below.

JND-Kids-Fun

Photo credit: Pam Elliott