Arts and Entertainment

Marysville musician hopes to help others heal

After years of practice, Marysville
After years of practice, Marysville's Amy Janelle has made her debut as a professional musician with her album 'Shining True.'
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Amy Janelle.

MARYSVILLE — The last track on her debut album is entitled "Live Your Dream," and after a lifetime of playing the piano, Marysville musician Amy Janelle is putting those words into practice.

"Shining True" collects a year's worth of musical compositions, but Janelle's journey to becoming a professional musician at the age of 31 began when a friend taught her how to play a song on the piano in the third grade. Janelle's freshly discovered passion was nurtured by her parents and the piano teachers they hired for her.

"The melody just grabbed my attention and spoke to me," Janelle said.

While the church pianist Janelle started with as a child taught her how to have a sense of humor about her occasional stumbles as she learned the basics, the piano teacher Janelle had as a teen inspired mixed emotions in her. Janelle appreciated how much those stricter lessons pushed her to develop and excel, but after years of classical training, she began composing her own songs in an attempt to express her own feelings more fully.

When her piano teacher heard one of Janelle's compositions, she brought her pupil some pieces from New Age musician David Lanz.

"I fell in love with New Age music," Janelle said. "It's so peaceful that it gets inside your heart. Writing songs, even without words, allowed me to identify what was going on inside of myself. It's really helped me process things."

Janelle described her own music as contemplative, but in ways that she intends to engage her listeners emotionally.

"With some of my songs, you can really see a window into me," Janelle said. "There's a sense of vulnerability there, but it allows me to feel connected to other people, like I'm really touching them."

Although she played piano at local churches for years during her lunch breaks, this same sense of vulnerability kept Janelle from accepting any other offers to play for audiences until her late 20s, when her divorce from the man she'd married at 19 and a flare-up of Crohn's disease inspired her to find her own healing by returning to music. She became a massage therapist to help heal others, and at the same time, she met with her childhood idol, Lanz, and located a studio where she could finally pursue her dream of recording an album.

"Music allows you to connect with yourself, to see who you are and what you want," Janelle said. "'Live Your Dream' is me talking to myself, but I really hope it feeds everyone's dreams too. My passion is to inspire others to follow their passions."

Amy Janelle's musical website is amypiano.com.

"Live Your Dream," from Marysville musician Amy Janelle's debut album, "Shining True."

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