top of page

Learn to Play (or play better!)

Janice's Teaching Philosophy

An award-winning music educator, Janice believes that every individual's creative talents should be nurtured and developed as fully as possible. She also believes that people learn best in an enjoyable, respectful and secure setting. These beliefs, combined with her extensive teaching experience and natural enthusiasm, make lessons inspiring and learning rewarding for her students.


DSC_0042 edit 3.jpg

Janice Finlay has been a private music instructor of saxophone, clarinet, flute and jazz since 1978. Students from five to eighty-five have enjoyed learning with Janice, whose teaching is always tempered with patience, kindness and good humour. 


Janice employs a structured program that is thorough and progressive, yet flexible enough to address the musical tastes and varying skill levels of her students. In addition to helping high school students successfully audition for university music programs of their choice, a great number of Janice's students have been recipients of scholarships and awards at local, provincial and national levels, and several have gone on to highly successful performance careers. Many adult beginners pursuing their dream of playing an instrument for fun have developed their talents to the point of performing in both amateur, and in some cases, professional level ensembles.


Lessons take place in Janice's well-equipped teaching studio, which is near several bus routes in the west St. James area of Winnipeg. 


  • Beginners of any age wishing to learn saxophone, flute or clarinet;

  • Moderately advanced students on any wind instrument wishing to develop their jazz skills;

  • "Doublers" who already play an instrument but want to add saxophone to their instrument roster (often for school jazz band);

  • High school students preparing for university auditions;

  • Intermediate and advanced students.



Students at Summer Camp for Sax Doublers, which is directed by Janice Finlay.



One of Janice's longest running projects is her Summer Camp for Sax Doublers which is held annually at the Winnipeg Conservatory of Music. The camp frequently sells out, and some campers love it so much they come back for a second year! The camp is designed specifically for school-aged participants who already play a band instrument and need to learn sax as a second instrument. Please visit the website for more information.


With close to four decades of woodwind and jazz clinician experience in public, private and post-secondary school settings, Janice is a very frequent choice of band directors throughout southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. Well-versed in both concert band and jazz band style and repertoire, Janice's expertise and enthusiasm inspire students to give their best because they realize that they can! 


 Jazz Appreciation Level I

If you are someone who sometimes thinks of jazz as a “bunch of noise” then this is the course for you! Believe it or not, there is underlying musical logic to what is referred to as “jazz” music and this course will start to unravel its mystery for you. Through guided listening, demonstration and discussion, the instructor will examine the components of jazz performance, provide an overview of its development and suggest ways to listen which will enhance your experience of the music whether you are new to jazz or a die-hard fan! This is an introductory course aimed at non-musicians.

Past Participants have said:

  • Well focused to ‘beginners’ ...explanations were basic and easily understood.

  •  A most enjoyable course, content and presentation. More!

  • Excellent introductory course.

  • Sorry it’s over.

  • Very well presented in an enthusiastic, knowledgeable manner.

  • I have already recommended it to several friends.

Janice offers this course when interest warrants. Please contact us for more information.

 Theory for Jazz Improvisors

This 8-week course is designed to provide students with the theory

foundation needed in order to create better jazz solos.


Topics include chord symbol interpretation, common chord progressions and relationships, jazz scales, basic harmonic analysis and re-harmonization, as well as melody construction.

All classes are taught by award-winning jazz educator JANICE FINLAY.

Space is limited – maximum 6 students per class.

Please contact us for more information on schedule and fees.


Janice Finlay is an experienced adjudicator of concert bands, jazz bands and small ensembles. Her musical knowledge, obvious enthusiasm and unfailingly tactful manner ensure that participants leave the stage feeling proud and inspired.


Some band directors have successfully used this class as a P.D. opportunity sponsored by their school division.

Janice Finlay.jpg
bottom of page