Janet Johnson

Profile Updated: September 8, 2011
Residing In: New York, NY USA
Spouse/Partner: Alan Katz
Occupation: Psychotherapist and Musician
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After graduating from NKCHS I attended the Conservatory of Music of UMKC where I obtained a BA in clarinet performance, studing with Charles Doherty, principal clarinetist of the KC Philharmonic. (I had already started to study with him while still at NKCHS and had started playing in some groups at the Conservatory).

I had always wanted to study at one of the major music schools and to come to New York City, so following graduation I finally got my parents to let me come to the big evil city (in reality today NYC has a much lower crime rate than KC). In New York I studied at the Manhattan School of Music with Herb Blayman, principal clarinetist at the Metropolitan Opera and obtained a MA in clarinet performance.

At the point that I graduated I didn't want to leave NYC, which I love, and it is hard to make a living as a free lance musician here, so I took a job as a caseworker at a child welfare agency. The agenecy, Saint Cabrini Home had a residential treatment center upstate and I worked in their city office. I mostly worked with the parents of the children placed in the treatment center in an effort to get the kids back home and went upstate to meet with the children every other week. This experience led me to applying to social work school and I obtained a second masters, an MSW, from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Work. I put myself through this second degree by obtaining a position in the adoption department of an agency called the Angel Guardian Home, which offered a work study program where I could receive a salary while attending social work school and get part of my tuition payed. Following graduation I owed the Angel Guardian Home two years of my life, although I stayed a couple more than that. I continued to work in their adoption department and started to specialize in placing older children in adoptive homes. My most interesting case was moving nine and ten year old girls from their foster home in Long Island, because their family would not make a committment to adopt them, and placing them with a family in Ashland, Oregon. I went throught the entire difficult process with them, including taking them to Oregon.

In 1977 I left Angel Guardian Home to obtain a supervisory position in a Residential Treatment Center for big bad adolescents in the Bronx. Unfortunately this agency ended up closing nine months after I went there, but fortunately a supervisory position in the medical/pyshciatric department of my former agency opened up at the same time, so I went back to the Angel Guardian Home and stayed there five more years. Around 1977 I also started a part private psychotherapy practice, working mostly with adults.

Then in 1982 I took a position as the Senior Clinical/Administrative Social Work Supervisor in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department at Metropolitan Hospital in Manhattan. I was very happy to be working in Manhattan, where I live, as all of my other jobs had entailed traveling to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or Long Island. In this new postion I supervised social workers on a inpatinet unit, in a day treatment program, in an outpatient clinic and in a therapeutic nursery. I ended up staying in this position for 23 years, which was a good thing to do because it was a city hospital and I was able to retire from there in 2005 with a nice pension. I didn't really retire, however. I took two positions after I left the hospital, one as the Clinic Director or the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health's new Child Clinic and the other as Program Director of the Youth Counseling League of the Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services.

Following an accident where I fell and fractured my elbow in 2008, I decided to retire completely from agency practice, but continue to maintain a private psychotherapy practice.

Although most of my income has come from being a social worker and psychotherapist, I have also continued to be a musician. For many years I played with a regularly performing woodwind quintet and twice toured in France with another woodwind quintet. I also have played with a number of orchestras and opera companies. When one opera company, The Amato Opera, that I had played with for 20 years, closed in the summer of 2009, I got involved, along with many of the singers and instrumentalists in forming a new opera company, The Amore Opera, which opened with our first production in December 2009 of La Boheme. Since then we have also done The Merry Widow, The Magic Flute, Tosca, Die Fledermaus, and Carmen. We do 12 performances of each show. One of my big thrills during Carmen was not only playing clarinet for half of the shows, but also making my debut as a chorister in the other half. I am on the Board of Directors of this company and was one of the producers of the first three shows. The second year I was the producer for brief versions of various operas, that are done for children and families, at the same time that we were doing our main stage productions. This is a great way to introduce children to opera. We are now getting ready to go into our third season with productions of The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Serville, La Traviata and the American premiere of a recently rediscovered opera by Mercandanti called I Due Figaro. The Marriage of Figaro and I Due Figaro will both be opening in October and I will be both playing clarinet and singing in the chorus for both of these productions. Look us up at www.amoreopera.org.

In addition to playing music I love to travel and over the years have been to Greece, the Soviet Union when it really was the Soviet Union (Russia, Armenia, Georgia and the Ukraine), China, France, Sweden, England, Venzuela and Puerto Rico, plus lots of places in the US.

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Oct 02, 2018 at 3:33 AM
Janet Johnson has a birthday today.
Oct 02, 2017 at 3:33 AM
Janet Johnson has a birthday today.
Oct 02, 2016 at 3:33 AM
Janet Johnson has a birthday today. New comment added.
Sep 13, 2016 at 10:28 PM

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