Janis Stevenson

Honey Boy Edwards and Foothill College Music Instructor, Janis Stevenson

         (9/29/08 at the Little Fox Theater, Redwood City, California)

Phone:  (650) 949-7411

Office:   1605B

Email:    stevensonjanis@foothill.edu

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Janis Stevenson began teaching at Foothill College… and is still inspired by her students past, present, and future!


v Janis was playing Boogie Woogie on the ukulele for Duke Kahanamoku in Waikiki, and singing Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” when she was 10 years old.

v Janis was first inspired to play the guitar after hearing Bola Sete in Monterey, and later studied guitar privately with the great Rey de la Torre.

v Janis was an usher for the Monterey Pop Festival (1967), where she heard The Who, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi, Janis Joplin, Ravi Shankar, and many other great musicians from the front stage!

v She sang in the SJSU choir with the San Francisco Symphony, featuring Peter Serkin as the soloist, and Seiji Ozawa conducting.

(Answers below)


Currently teaching Music Fundamentals (Music 10), Contemporary Musical Styles (Music 7), and The History of the Blues (Music 7E).   Additionally, she will be teaching Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Folk Guitar (Music 15 A, B, and C) where you can become your own “Guitar Hero!”


Received her Bachelor’s degree in music at San Jose State University, while studying classical guitar with Fred Thrane.  Her love of ethnomusicology inspired her to study composition with one of America’s greatest 20th century composers, Lou Harrison.  She received her MA in Music from San Jose State University while teaching guitar part-time at West Valley College. She joined the full-time faculty at Foothill in 1975.


v Three courses in the study of folk guitar (beginning, intermediate, and advanced)

v Three courses in the study of songwriting (lyrics, melody, and music business)

v The History of the Blues (co-authored with Foothill College Music Instructor, Mike Sult


Janis has been a volunteer in the College and Career Center at Palo Alto High School for the past nine years.  She has been a volunteer in the Palo Alto Unified School District teaching children about music, and writing songs for them to perform at weekly assemblies, cultural events, and holidays since 1989.


In addition to the courses she teaches at Foothill she has been on the Board of Director’s for the West Coast Songwriter’s Association since 1980, and is the Foothill liaison with the West Coast Songwriter’s for their annual September conference held on the Foothill campus.


v Designing new curriculum to bring innovative experiences to students

v Textbook reviews (Oxford University Press, Prentice Hall)

v Integrating film, photography and musical research from the South, (so far: Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas) while studying the roots of Rock ‘n Roll!

v Taking classes (currently studying slide guitar) 

v Playing guitar and songwriting


back to the Music Department Homepage

Sign up for one of the classes to find out!