LARRY & JANNA WAGNER
founders of Wagner’s School of Music
Larry and Janna Wagner, the founders of Wagner’s School of Music in 1976, both graduated from San Diego State University with degrees in Music. Janna was a flute performance Major receiving her Bachelor of Science degree. Larry studied Music Education, Piano and Voice, majoring in Liberal arts with distinction in Music, receiving his Bachelors as well. The Comprehensive Musicianship taught at SDSU was a catalyst for what is now taught to children of all ages at Wagner’s. During that same time period, Larry and Janna played all over San Diego as the Piano-Flute Duo in numerous venues, one being in the Crown Room at the Hotel Del Coronado, another as regulars at the Cafe Del Rey Moro in Balboa Park. Also, Larry played keys and sang on most weekends in a top 40’s band called Long Shot.
At first, while Janna ran the business part of the school in a music store, Larry taught along side two other teachers using popular curriculum in a group setting. From the beginning, parent participation was a key element of success and student retention.
When Janna gave birth to quadruplets in 1981, it became necessary for Larry to do more of the business side while continuing to teach over 100 students per week. He also began developing the new curriculum which has been used now for these passed 40 plus years. His contribution of parent pages for group piano is unique to the Wagner’s curriculum.
Once Larry and Janna’s children entered 1st grade, Janna continued at Wagner’s as a consultant. She also studied real estate and got advanced accreditation in Special Education and Math. She worked as a special Education teacher at Hillsdale Middle in Rancho San Diego, a math teacher at Christian High School in El Cajon and at Monte Vista High, completing her 20-year teaching career in 2016. At that point she became a Parent- Liaison at Wagner’s until Brett and Sarah Wagner took over the school in 2019.
Today the school flourishes under its new owners while Larry continues to write new curriculum and Janna launches her new endeavor as an author (Look for her first book “Quadruplets, A Love Story,” to be released sometime in 2020). They also have 5 granddaughters that keep them hopping!