photo by Roger Jones

Janis Mercer has been teaching for over 25 years to students of all ages and levels. She has been a pianist for most of her life and a composer for almost as long. She has a B.M. and M.M. degrees in music. Her experience ranges from young beginners taking private lessons, to chamber music coaching and theory/aural skills training; from adult beginners and advanced players to high school aged students on track to majoring in music in college. In addition, Ms. Mercer has led master classes and given lectures on her music and others at American universities. She has worked in a variety of environments: schools, students' homes, her home studio, and community music centers. She teaches students from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures. She teaches gifted students and those with learning disabilities and is comfortable in a private or group setting. She has prepared students for ABRSM piano and theory exams. Finally, Ms. Mercer mentors former students, writing letters of recommendation to universities, and taking an interest in their academic and professional lives. 


“Janis is very patient with the unaccomplished. I'm meeting her for ear training. After three meetings I feel there may be hope for me yet. ...”

“Janis Mercer was my colleague at the San Francisco Community Music center for more than a decade when I worked there, 1997 to 2010. Janis is a great music teacher because she models a complete musical life for her students. For example, she teachers with passion, but also composes, performs, and participates in exciting cultural conferences and symposia around the world. Thus, her students see and understand the full possibilities presented by a life as a professional musician, active in the world, today.”

“My daughter, a somewhat reluctant student, took piano lessons from Janis. Janis has an easy rapport with children, it is obvious that she loves helping kids learn and enjoy music. She individualizes her instruction, challenging students enough to keep them interested but not demanding more than they can achieve. I recommend Janis wholeheartedly, without reservation.”