Singer/songwriter Lane Gardner spins a vibrant mix of experience and artistry into a rich, authentic voice that is as raw and vulnerable as it is powerful and inspiring.
Hard to fit in to one particular genre, Lane’s music has a timelessness to it. Sometimes gospel, with even a bit of southern grit here and there, her perhaps old-school soulfulness harkens back to trailblazing female singer/songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell, while her sharp and cutting lyrics evoke the stylistic honesty of Ani DiFranco and Adele. Her songwriting is soulful and heartrendering, as she pours her deeply personal stories into a vast, yet familiar well of shared experiences we all can relate to, connect with and be touched by.
Lane’s history is as vast and colorful as her music. Raised in a family of self-taught musicians, Lane’s earliest musical memories are of aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, cousins all gathering around the piano, playing whatever they could find, howling and harmonizing old time gospel hymns, honkey-tonk jams and war time songs. It was joyful, it was raw, it was real. It was during one of those cherished jam sessions that her grandfather exclaimed…”That girl can sing!” …and offered to pay for her voice lessons….for the next decade and more.
Her formal vocal training began at age 9. She soon found her way to the stage and began a 20+ year career as a professional singer/actor in opera, music theater and theater. She attended both Baldwin-Wallace College and University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she graduated with a degree in Classical Vocal Performance. She spent much of her twenties on the road, traveling from gig to gig, playing roles as varied as Eliza in My Fair Lady to the title role in Antigone to Lily in the Secret Garden to Laura in The Glass Menagerie. After a while though, she fell out of love with the stage. And while it had been a defining cornerstone of her life since childhood, she eventually came to terms with the fact that her artistic passions burned elsewhere. It was time to step off the stage to uncover a deeper well of authentic expression.
It was about that time she had moved to NYC and her beloved son, Myles was born. After several (no, many!!) sleepless years, a good long bout of postpartum depression, moving to the ‘burbs, all the amazingly exquisite experiences and brutally painful changes that came with motherhood….she had very little semblance of who she was anymore! …Which turned out to be a very good thing.
The time had allowed for some blood-letting, some skin-shedding, some castle-crumbling of many long-held assumptions of who she thought she was, who she believed she was supposed to be and how she imagined her life was supposed to look. It was time to rebuild.
… here, she could marry together her creative loves: writing music, singing, storytelling and the human journey.
She started out by hooking up with some local musicians and songwriters, singing back up vocals on their records, learning about the music business and began to develop her songwriting chops. She experimented with fusing together many of the musical styles she loved: gospel, folk, world music, even tossing in a bit of her classical background here and there. She played a few shows, trying out her new songs, fine-tuning her skills as a musician, arranged all her own songs and taught herself how to record her music in her home studio.
All this, while becoming a single mom, relocating and re-inventing her career in Arts Education as an Arts Curriculum and Program Developer and teacher in public schools, private schools, and within the Special Needs community. Lane is deeply passionate about using the Arts as tools to enhance academic curriculum and support individual learning styles. She develops innovative programming and curricula to foster self-esteem, cultivate positive character development, instill solid musical and theatrical skills and serve as therapeutic tools for the Special Needs community. She teaches in-class music, instrumental and vocal lessons, serves as chorus and drama program director, in addition to teaching songwriting and recording where students write and record an original album every year. Lane’s experience and expertise in Arts Education spans over 20 years, contributing to innovative arts organizations including Music Ascension, The Metropolitan Opera Guild and The Conservatory of Performing Arts. Most recently, though her work with Music Ascension, she and founder Pete Kalvert were awarded the 2016 Innovations in Special Education Award from New Jersey School Boards Association and the 2017 National Award for Leadership in Special Education by the National Association of Private School Education Centers for their Songwriting and Recording program at Chapel Hill Academy in Lincoln Park, New Jersey.
She is also deeply committed to using the Arts as an avenue for Human Development and social change from the inside out. Through her Human Development Through the Arts initiative, she presents workshops, motivational talks and professional staff developments in a wide variety of educational and community-based settings.