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Dear Friends, Jane Yii passed away 26 May 2019. Obituary / Bio


Greetings from Miss Jane, and thank you for being curious about music lessons for your child age 6-16 years. I teach beginning and advanced beginner (1-3 yrs) music lessons in my home studio. I am easily located just a half mile north of the Clark Co. Fairgrounds at exit 9. or exit 11 if you are coming from the North.

Music is not just a hobby, music is a way of life. We have music all around us, all the time, in our daily lives and it is an enriching and positive influence most of the time.

I can teach your child not only to love and enjoy listening to and making music for personal enjoyment, but also to enjoy sharing music for the enjoyment of others. I can absolutely teach them how to change their lives and their brains, FOR THE BETTER, with music.

There is much scientific evidence that music changes the brain in very beneficial ways, for example raising their levels of reading, math and comprehension skills within just a few months.

I can also teach your child how to turn the good and bad experiences in their lives into art, transforming what could be a negative thing into a catchy upbeat tune, or a good thing into a permanent reminder of it.

My primary goals are to engage your child with music, by teaching simple, fun, basic pieces, and earn their trust, week by week, in order to develop a positive and influential relationship with them. Then, I can help them learn to love music, work more challenging pieces, and change their lives every day with music and through it. My intention is not to teach them a cookie cutter set of scales or certain classical pieces over a set period of time. My desire is to have them come home from lessons saying "I had a great time and I can’t wait to go to lesson with Miss Jane again!"

Lessons are custom designed for each child, changing directions/instruments/methods as I learn more about your child, and growing in music with them. I encourage them to help me pick out fun material to learn, like popular songs or video game theme songs. I expose them to the great classical pieces, and they always choose to learn them! We learn how to compose songs and beats with loops in GARAGEBAND, an Apple based program.

And as they learn to love coming to lessons, they end up making musical progress and having fun, as well as gaining all the other incredible benefits of music. These benefits of music lessons are observable and measurable, and the self esteem gained from this experience will be like none other that your child will have in life.

Music will change their lives and the lives of those around them.

Instruments Taught

The instruments that I can teach, or assist with, and/or have in studio, are as follows:

  • Acoustic guitar — all levels
  • Classical guitar
  • Bass guitar — beginner-intermediate
  • Electric guitar — beginner
  • Jazz Guitar — beginner
  • Ukulele
  • Acoustic piano — beginner-intermediate
  • Electronic Keyboards
  • Digital Synthesizer
  • Sampling Synth
  • Drum machine
  • 2 Full YAMAHA Acoustic drum kits and a LUDWIG BREAK BEATS bop kit — Beginner
  • Hand drum, misc. percussion adn noisemakers
  • Bb (standard) Clarinet — beginner
  • Flute - beginner
  • Recorder (all sizes) — beginner
  • Autoharp
  • Violin - beginner
  • Harmonica - beginner
  • Mandolin (not at this time)

I don't currently have, but can also teach beginning Cello, Mandolin, Oboe and Trumpet.

Garage Band (recording software) is used and taught on Apple Computers, iPods, iPads, and iPhones.

Korg Kossilator for teaching electronic sampling and looping.

Musical Genres Taught:
  • Classical, Jazz, Rock, Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Ambient, Reggae, Dixieland
  • ...and Original Composition!
About Me

I have been a musician for my entire life. It is not what I do, it is who I am. To make a long story short, I have:

  • Played many different instruments in lessons and school bands and thousands of Live Performance shows.
  • Sung in school choruses as well as church and professional choirs.
  • Majored in Flute at the University of Florida with a minor in Plant Science.
  • Performed on the East Coast (Key West to Long Island) touring full time for 35 years.
  • Released 10 albums. I have produced recordings for others, including a Healing Grief cd and a Poetry cd.
  • Won 2 EMMY awards for PBS Nature Documentary Soundtrack composition and performance.
  • Won Best New Florida Folk song for "Santa Fe River" at the Will McLean Folk Festival
  • Won Best Overall Songwriting Award for "Poppy Seed" and "54 Chevy" at the South Florida Folk Festival.
  • Designed and ran the musical based preschool, "LET'S EXPLORE" and the kindergarten classes for Firstenberg Community Center, (City of Vancouver) for half a decade, as well as their girl’s "SING LIKE A STAR" classes, teaching hundreds of little girls to sing jazz standards.

    We eventually became the "SING LIKE A STAR GIRLS CHOIR" and then the "HUMMINGBIRD CHOIR and BAND", with full instrumentation and 17 singers and players. We performed at the retirement and assisted living homes in the area as well as the HOLIDAY BAZAAR at the Clark County Fairgrounds. Some of the girls can be heard on the title cut of my VEGETABLE BABY cd, Eat Your Vegetables Baby.)
  • Played guitar, keyboards, bass and or drums in Rock, Ska/Reggae, Punk, New Wave, Blues, Folk, Bluegrass, Classic Cover, 80’s, Jazz, Dixieland and Ragtime bands for over forty years. SKATTERBRAINZ was one of Florida's top Reggae Ska Rock bands for almost a decade.
  • Taught full time as top teacher in the PDX area for TAKELESSONS.COM for 7+ years.
    *See my Student Reviews!

For more biographical information on Jane and CD samples, check out Jane's music site.

You can also check out her Band Mix for current live recording projects.

Follow Jane on Facebook for upcoming and past shows.

Special Notice on Summer Scheduling

Due to changing summer schedules and days of teaching, my schedule is in flux at this time.

Most lesson slots are filled, at this time, but things are moving around during the last few weeks of June, and there will be openings available in early afternoon once school lets out.

Thank you.

Availabilities change, so please check back or contact me, if you don't see what you want. My unbooked time slots are as follows:

A 30 minute lesson lasts for 45 minutes and a 45 minute lesson lasts for 60 minutes! Find out why!

Lesson Pricing

LESSONS ARE WEEKLY. Same time each week, in Studio. No bi-monthly lessons.

  • 30 minute lesson - $125 per month - plus 15 mins bank time ($5 material fee included) per child.
  • 45 minute lesson - $165 per month - plus 15 mins bank time ($5 material fee included) per child.
  • 60 minute lesson - $200 per month - plus 15-30 mins bank time (no material fees charged) per child.

Payment is due by the 28th of the month prior to guarantee your lesson slot.

Payments accepted:

    Cash (in person)

    Personal Check or Business Check (except for very first lesson payment)

    Paypal (online) "friends and family" payments only (to avoid fee)

    Visa/MasterCard (in person) via Square. $3-5 square fee

Payment for first lesson is due upon STUDIO MEET AND GREET with MISS JANE, prior to first lesson or via PayPal on my website, if you can't make a meet and greet ahead of lessons.

Siblings may request back-to-back lessons, and every effort will be made to accommodate this, in order to have one drop off and one pick up for both. I have plenty of fun things for waiting siblings to do (legos, coloring, iPod music games, Kaossilator, sampler keyboards, etc) and a homework station.

Sometimes it takes a few weeks to move lessons around to accommodate sports schedules. My lesson schedules change as your student's SPORTS SEASONS CHANGE. I will do everything to accommodate your child's new sports schedule as it arrises. Temporary slots will be arranged until the schedule is worked out.

Billing & Missed Lesson Policy

Lesson payments are due on the 20th of the month for the upcoming month. Cash, Paypal, or credit card (in person only) in order to guarantee your time slot. No checks, please.

A late fee of $25 will be charged on the 28th, if payment is not made by then. Lessons not paid by the first of the month will be automatically discontinued permanently (unless other arrangements are made) in order to keep all available slots filled. There is usually a waiting list for prime time slots.

Current students get first right of refusal on all openings, according to seniority, then new students. The longer your student has been taking lessons with me, the more consideration you get in all matters.

Why a 30 Minute Lesson Lasts for 45, and a 45 Lasts 60.

Children are busy. Families are busy. Kids get sick. Families leave town on vacation several times per year. KIDS MISS LESSONS ... and often. The average student misses up to 12 lessons per year. That is three months worth of lessons. This is for ALL STUDENTS. They are all busy and will have conflicts. Available make up slots are almost always before 3 in the afternoon on weekdays or after 8pm on weeknights. These are not usually good times for most school age students, as they are in school or on their way to bed.

In order that you get ALL of the lesson time that you pay for, I give at least an extra 15 minutes in lesson, EVERY SINGLE TIME your child shows up for lesson. This means that if you attend even three lessons a month you still are ahead of the game, for paid time.

A 30 minute paid lesson lasts 45 minutes. A 45 min paid lesson lasts 60 minutes. This also helps make up for bathroom time, late arrivals and all the other unexpected events that make children’s lives not plan-able by the minute.

Life is what happens while you are busy trying to get your child to lessons.

You are purchasing an available time slot, not a lesson. If you can make the time slot, great, your child gets a lesson. If you cannot make the time slot that week, your child will have plenty of banked time to make up for the occasional missed lesson here and there. Even up to one missed lesson per month.

If I have another cancellation, I will do my best to fit missed lessons into those other openings, but it may only be a 15 minute notification, though, and first come first serve. Make up lessons are for the original time purchased only, no 15 mins. extra time on make up lessons.

I will absolutely try to get your student into a lesson that week, if you have a conflict, but that is only IF I have enough notice and IF I have another cancellation, and IF that opening works for you. I would always rather teach than not. I have more fun than you can imagine!

If you have other children in the family, or an interested parent, I can always give your child’s missed lesson slot to a sibling or someone else in your family. That time slot is yours and who knows what musical possibilities and doors we might open this way!

You will be paying for 48 weeks a year, at four weeks per month. The extra four weeks given per year ARE MY VACATION/SICK days. I will take two weeks at Christmas time (from before Christmas to after New Years) and usually a week in the summer. I am usually not sick but this also allows me at least one sick week per year. I did not need it this past year! I also didn’t take a week in this past summer, so I may or may not take all four weeks. I did have to cancel a couple of Wednesday’s for some LASIK.

If Your Child Gets Sick...

PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD TO LESSON if they are sniffling, sneezing or coughing or have a fever or a runny nose. UNLESS YOU ARE SURE IT IS ALLERGIES ONLY. We all have those up here in the NW.

If I get sick, I am out for weeks sometimes, as I am a senior, and the studio is a very closed hands on system where germs stick around. Every child after that, will be exposed to the germs originally brought in to the studio by one sick child.

If your child appears sick at all in lesson, I will call you and have you pick them up immediately. Continued lack of attention to bringing a sick child into the studio will result in lessons being discontinued. PLEASE BE AWARE and have your child notify you if they feel sick. These NW germs really do a serious number on me, and it takes me a long time to recover.

Please do not request time off from billing.

I must have a regular paycheck in order to do this and so my policy is that you are in lessons until you are no longer in lessons. This is a yearly commitment to a lifetime of music.

There is no taking six weeks off for summer vacation and coming back in the fall. I cannot work that way and still pay my bills. If you discontinue for any reason, you will have to find another teacher for your child. Even short term skipping of music lessons results in most children forgetting everything they know, being very frustrated and discouraged when they try again, and then quitting...all because they took a summer break.

This is not like reading books. You forget how to read music VERY QUICKLY and must start over again.

Thank you for your understanding of this very important policy, it is the only way I can do what I do the way I do it.

How to Take Lessons & Be Succesful at It

Please read and confirm that you have read. Perhaps read select sections or summarize for your child.

There are a few things that are necessary for the successful outcome of this musical venture that we are starting together.

Music is FUN FUN FUN! We all know that...

Well…It is supposed to be fun.

It is not fun always, and rarely in the beginning. It hurts or is hard or causes blisters and cramps and pained body parts due to repetition. And this is true for your entire music career. This is the nature of the game. One must get thru at least a year or so of steady DAILY practice to really begin to even understand your instrument. After over 55 years of playing, I am still fascinated with my initial instrument, as well as the dozen instruments I have learned since then.

Music is not something we do until we get to the top and win, and then we get to go home. We are constantly learning new music, new theory, new skills and growing through them. Perhaps that is why musicians are such interesting people… we have to learn new stuff about our field daily.

We have to practice it too, every day, and then, still only feel that we have so much more we could know. It is open ended and infinitely challenging to be a musician. It is incredible for the brain and the body and the spirit. It is rewarding on every level and we can participate in it until our last breath.

"If I can play, I will. If I can't play, I'll clap, If I can't clap, I'll listen, and when I can no longer hear, I will feel the beat in my bones, and find my way home thru the sound." ~ jane yii

1. Children cannot discipline themselves to practice. They must be supervised and monitored during their rehearsal time in order to make the habit of practice. Also, to make sure that they are playing what they are supposed to be practicing and not just doing the same pieces that they already know. The parent must be involved, and know what is happening during practice each day. The more the parent is involved, the more likely the child will succeed and become the musician that is their dream.

If at all possible, learning the instrument along with your child, will not only increase the likelihood that they stick with lessons and music, but the family that plays together, stays together. If your child can come home and play music with his/her cohorts at HOME, they will not be out trying to cure their boredom on the streets or the video screen.

If a sibling has any inclination, it is of great benefit to have both siblings in lesson, perhaps on different compatable instruments so that they have someone to play with… music is the healthiest social medium I know. Showing someone else how to play something you just learned is the best way to cement it in. So your child could show you after lesson, and then you both learn it that week. It gives power to the child, to show you something they know and you don't. And so helps them implement their tasks without even realizing it.

2. It is the parent's responsibility to oversee this practice. You must set a regular time every day. 7 days a week. Some days WILL BE MISSED, which is why we shoot for 7 and accept 5 to 6 days. Less than five and we are all wasting time. If your handout sheets say daily exercise… then DAILY means DAILY.

3. Practices are best done BEFORE SCHOOL. The students that I have taught who have succeeded in learning their instrument, practice before school always and after school most days. This is pretty much the only way that a student with after school activities can guarantee regular practice sessions without disruption. Even if only 15 mins in the AM. Then at least one session a day is guaranteed. More frequent practices, containing repetition of small bits of music as opposed to entire songs played once a day, are preferable. Another 20 after school before homework, and another 10-15 after dinner, is an ideal way to get your child to work up to 45 mins without them realizing it. Eventually they can play that amount of time in all one sitting, but breaking it up in the beginning, is so much easier on them.

4. A single piece must be practiced over and over, one line or phrase at a time in order to get it right. The only way to play a piece without mistakes is to practice it until it is part of every bit of your brain activity. One lives the piece one is practicing, It is the melody on the tongue and in the brain. For the true professional pianist or instrumentalist, often in a 12 hour day of practice, they will only get the phrase exactly right, at the "11th hour."

Mistakes are a way of life for musicians, and practicing makes us able to keep the numbers of them down. I average at least two or three mistakes per song in a performance. If that is a 60 song night, then I make at around 200 mistakes. But I keep on going. It is not about NOT MAKING MISTAKES, it is about making less of them. Or not making them all the time. Or just smoothing over them, hoping no one noticed. If it's really bad, then making a terrible face will get the laughter, and then all is good. Live music is just that. LIVE!

5. Students who take lessons, practice daily and therefore enjoy lessons, and ultimately succeed at their instrument, become musicians for life. Most of us do not go on to play soccer or football or volleyball the rest of our lives. We who become musicians (whether we are 'Gifted' or accomplished at it or not) do this all our lives, because WE LOVE IT! So Daily Music Practice must take priority OVER all other extra curricular activities, or the student will not succeed. You can't fit it between sports and other commitments and have it work. It must be the priority for the WHOLE FAMILY. Other things must fit around the music.

6. A student who does not practice, eventually suffers great self esteem issues as they fail week after week at lesson time. They do not fail at sports if they don't practice at home, as they still get to play and have fun. Their self esteem gets raised from it. It is very damaging to a child to NOT have the support of the family/parents and the home structure necessary to support the home practice schedule required to succeed at lessons. It is no fun for either of us to do the same thing week after week, and a child has to deal with my frustration at any lack of progress due to no structure or lesson practice time enforced in the home. The student MUST practice in order for lessons to be fun. This is a no brainer. Otherwise, we are both unhappy.

7. A good instrument that is PLAYABLE is so critical to a child's ability to learn. I cannot play many of the instruments that are brought to first lessons, and many of them cannot be fixed at all, or are way more pricey to fix than to buy new. I have great contacts with MUSIC WORLD in Hazel Dell. They are set up to get your child into a qualified instrument for under $200. Until this is taken care of, lessons are only discouraging, as it sounds bad and it hurts to play and practice.

**ALL STRINGED INSTRUMENTS need a "set up"**

This makes the strings the right height from the fretboard/neck and makes it easy to play, and play in tune with itself and other instruments. This is around $35-40 depending on the prior condition, and is not done at all on new instruments in any store that I know of. Car dealerships will not sell you an undrivable car, but most music stores sell unplayable guitars for beginners. HD Music World will do this "set up" for no extra charge for my students on instruments purchased there. We made that deal. That is a big help on many levels. They have a playable instrument, and you don't have to pay for that extra service. It is kind of like giving a kid a bike in a box and expecting them to ride it with the seat loose and the handlebars askew with flat tires. Then telling the student that when they learns to ride THAT, they will receive a "real bike".

8. Strings should be changed no less than every 60 days and can be expensive. Some kids sweat more than others (wet hands vs dry hands) and will need changing more often. If the string is corroded, or feels sharp at all, has lost it's brilliance and tone, then new strings are due. For $5 I will change acoustic guitar strings during their lesson time (5 mins). If you bring a set of electric strings (light gauge .10's please and thanks) I will change them for you during lesson (about 15 mins). Music stores charge about $20 to change strings, plus the cost of strings - about $6-10.

Guitarists need tuners, and straps installed also, affixed to the BODY at the neck, and not tied to the headstock so that is another $20 cost up front. You can't play right without a strap. This is included in the $200-$250 estimated package. The package includes Guitar (acoustic sized to the child: 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, full size) soft case, tuner, strap and install, picks, extra strings, and the set up. Sometimes it is less than $200. See Bill or Matt (Manager) at Music World, (Hazel Dell only, not Battle Ground) to get these deals they have worked out with me. They also keep the books in stock for guitar, bass and piano, as well as all the band instruments.

9. If your child is learning a band instrument in school and needs extra help with that, I can assist with all the band instruments, (techniques, how to read those infernal instrument books, fingering, etc) as well as the orchestral instruments. MUSIC IS MUSIC and is transferrable between instruments. If you know theory. I teach MUSIC THEORY TO ALL MY STUDENTS, so that you learn how to play MUSIC and not just your instrument.

10. Lessons are a long term investment. If you are not willing to go through times of great obsession and also times of great avoidance, than you might want to rethink this journey. Consistency is all that matters, and if my student is in the avoidance mode, I will do everything I can to change what we are doing to make it interesting again, rather than force them to do something they just don't want to do. Often, I need someone to tell me that they don't like something, kids are great at hiding their misery if they think it will earn them punishment. I just need you to keep them practicing even though there are times they just don't want to. During these avoidance times, as long as they are playing SOMETHING, I don't really care what, but progress will only be made if they are playing for 30-40 mins per day. So when they get fired up about it again, we can go back to more goal oriented tasks. If it needs fixing I do it. "If it ain't broke…."

11. I start daily practice time at 10-15 mins per day to GET THE STUDENT IN THE HABIT OF DAILY PRACTICE and to not overwhelm the child. There is NO EXCUSE for not finding 15 mins per day for the first month or two, depending on the child. After that I will go to 20 mins per day and work up to 30+ in the first year (depending on child and age) and finally work up to 45 mins. Two 30 min sessions are ideal.

12. MUSIC CHANGES THE BRAIN. Period. 45 mins or more is the ideal practice time, in which time the brain releases dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, all from the TIME duration of the Right Brain activity. But 45 mins is unattainable in the beginning and will turn almost all students off. They don't have that endurance, and it is overwhelming. So we start low and work up to 45 mins. Usually within the first year to 18 months depending on age and the child.

I also explain this to the student, that they can change the way they feel for the better, just by playing for 3/4 of an hour. So we now ALL have a weapon against the teen age brain horrors, if we can implement this practice before the hormones take over. A student who can see that they feel better after that amount of practice time, will be better equipped to change the brain with intent and focus, when needed, and that is a lifetime skill to be greatly valued. Who wouldn't want to be able to cure depression, allow anger to dissipate, help with grieving and open up new ways of thinking and seeing, just by playing their instrument for a set amount of time? A child who knows this, has a tool to fix the bad days or times in their life.

13. Music is also a great tool to change the events of ones life (be they bad or good) into Art. If a child has something terrible in their life, then the tool of music to transform that event into a song, or even a wordless piece, releases the original pain, and permanently transforms something mentally or emotionally into art. Even if the final piece is not any good, or is angry in its presentation, the transformation that the musician experiences by doing this process, is a learned process that can be called up on command, once the skill is learned. That is the true value of the creative process, that one can take one "thing" in life and change it into another, by intent and focus. This is an invaluable tool for children who have a whole lot more to deal with in life, than we can imagine.

14. MUSIC is RIGHT BRAINED. Math is left brained. If your child is having trouble with a music passage, please ask them a few math oriented (addition, subtract, multiply) questions for 1 min, and then take them back to the music. If your child is tired after school, then have them do their music practice FIRST as it makes the rest of their homework so much easier. If they get bogged down in homework, switch them to their instrument for 5 mins to reset the Left Brain. IT WORKS!

15. Learning disabilities are treated entirely different. If your child has any issues at all with ADD, Dyslexia or Autism, then I use a completely different program. Dyslexic children are taught at first by ear, as the sheet music page is just overwhelming by sight. When they do start reading, we read by proximity of note, as opposed to naming of the note, which is much simpler… is it UP? is it DOWN? is it up one step? is it up two steps?

Nervous, anxious children are taught to breath with rhythm and move with rhythm and play to calm the anxiety. To focus on music instead of their worries. It gives them something to focus on for a specific amount of time, which does not give them the time to "feed the monsters" in the brain. You can't do both at the same time, and after 45 mins, those monsters have disappeared.

Autistic children have a distinct list of tasks for the day and specific rewards of the child's choosing for EACH TASK ASSIGNED. These are printed out and in place on the music stand by the time the autistic student arrives. Lessons for them are very structured with rewards. The only thing that ever changes is the task itself. Rewards can be: candy, (best incentive for kids I have found) iPod music games (they love these) and choosing any DIFFERENT instrument to experiment on, other than their main instrument.

16. USE APPS and learning tools. In this wondrous world of smart phones, tablets and apps, there are so many more tools at our disposal for making the whole music learning task FUN! What kid wouldn't choose to learn how to read notes on a iPod over the sheet music? Quizzes on apps are so much more fun. BLUE NOTE for Apple products is my favorite, and at $1.99, it is a steal. This is a part of the lesson that should be done ON THE WAY TO LESSON. If your child does a note reading app in the 20 minute drive to lesson or just before lesson, then I don't have to spend the first 10-15 mins getting their readings skills up and running "warmed up" as it were. It takes that long to get into reading with the whole body, (reading involves the eyes, the brain, the fingers and the strings or keys or pads.) And if that is part of a 30 min lesson, and it takes five to unpack and tune and five to pack up, then that leaves five mins for new skill or piece learning.

So please please please, have them do SOME KIND OF NOTE READING SKILLS APP before lesson. On the way here is best, or just before leaving is ok too. We will make AT LEAST 100% more progress in a year, if this one thing is done before lessons each week. It takes me about 30 mins to get my own reading skills warmed up to where I want them, same as it takes me almost an hour to get my hands and musical self warmed up and into the ZONE for true playing.

Ask me if you need help. I'll find the apps that you need for your android, apple or tablet.

17. We are musicians with a specific instrument most of the time. Those of us good at guitar, may not be as good on bass, or piano. But we don't know, until we try them all. I have over 15 different kinds of instruments to move around on, in order to keep their interest high, during those low interest times, or to find out, if maybe the first choice of instrument was not the best choice. There are many students that have started with a string instrument only to find out that their love was the keyed instruments. Or vice versa. Some students may also want to learn more than one instrument, and can I either split the lesson in half or do a different instrument every other week.

So music is a whole life, whole house, whole self project.

It is a skill that you can't lose, even if you lose body parts (see Django Reinhardt). It is a wondrous gift you can give to others and to your self. It is a way of life, even if you choose another profession (and you SHOULD, unless you just have no choice at all.. starving musicians are not an urban legend) you will have a lifetime of personal growth and satisfaction at least in this ONE place in your world, you have something you can always turn to, to help you through the bad times and to celebrate the good.

You put your whole self in.

Music is everywhere, it is everything, and it ROCKS!

Thank you!

Music and the Brain

This great infographic is from Encore Music.

Student Reviews & Testimonials
Jane's Studio
Safety & Security

For your peace of mind, JANE periodically has a background check done on herself. This will be made available for your inspection during the initial STUDIO MEET AND GREET with Jane. A copy of Jane's latest background check can be seen here:

background check pdf.