About JoAnn Braheny

About JoAnn Braheny (bra-HAY-nee)

JoAnn is a career counselor and consultant for creative people, i.e., songwriters/musicians, performers, graphic artists, designers, actors, etc.  She also offers workshops for schools and companies who are interested in furthering team-building and innovating new products and services. She offers private consultations in person, by phone, or online video/audio via Skype.com.

A unique resource,  she is best at guiding and supporting creative individuals on their career path(s). She’s a well-traveled networker with extensive outreach, a sought-after guest speaker, engaging teacher, and a fun leader for retreats and workshops, especially where creativity, brain-storming and collaboration are featured. Contact her at joann@goosingyourmuse.com.

JoAnn’s Work History

JoAnn Braheny’s career in the entertainment business started with a leap: from a receptionist at a classical music station to Atlanta’s first full-time female radio disc jockey for an FM “underground rock” station. She honed her skills doing on-air interviews with Dennis Hopper, Peter Max, Harry Chapin, Otto Preminger, Senator Ted Kennedy and others.

JoAnn was lured from broadcasting to Top 40 radio promotion for a small Atlanta label, GRC Records. Her deejay experience, and being a woman in a then male-dominated business, gave her unexpected advantages as she called upon national radio music directors. She attended so many major live concert performances that the Atlanta Police Department issued her a special backstage pass, so she could get in, greet the performers (and promoters), and exit quickly.

JoAnn was soon drafted into organizing and developing GRC’s music publishing department. With no prior knowledge of generating and managing copyrights, royalties, and working with ‘beginner-to-pro’ writers , she credits BMI, ASCAP and the Library of Congress for her early on-the-job training. Assisting songwriters in their career development became a passion … so much so that when GRC closed, JoAnn opened her own consulting and music publishing company. As owner of (maiden-name) Jaffe Music Consulting, JoAnn provided ongoing career direction (most common question: “what’s my next step?”) to new and veteran songwriters, screened and critiqued original songs, and worked with record producers and recording artists on behalf of writers. During that time she also became a founding officer in the Atlanta Songwriters Association.

When JoAnn met her husband, John Braheny, (‘a songwriter’s best friend,’ ‘the Obi-Wan Kenobe of the songwriting universe’), she moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles, and continued to broaden her experience in the entertainment industry.

Her freelance assignments included stints with Billboard magazine, CBS Records, Arista Records, Warner Bros. Records & Pictures, ATV Music Publishing, Island Music, ABC-TV, NBC-TV, Dick Clark Productions, The Burbank Studios, the Playboy Mansion and various entertainment law firms.

She worked for five years at Rogers & Cowan, the world’s largest entertainment public relations firm (1980s), whose music clients included Olivia Newton-John, the Bee Gees, Paul McCartney, Barry Manilow, Al Jarreau, Henry Mancini, B.B. King, the Beach Boys, Rod Stewart, Julio Iglesias, Peter, Paul & Mary, Anne Murray, Bette Midler and many others. JoAnn coordinated press/media activities and edited press releases, bios, stories and script treatments.

From Rogers and Cowan, she moved to Jensen Communications serving as liaison between the entertainment press/media and music clients including Ozzy Osborne, Iron Maiden, Wasp, Manhattan Transfer and David Foster, in addition to booking and coordinating the national press/media corps for the CMJ (College Music Journal) Music Marathon in New York City.

JoAnn’s history of working with creative people took a new turn when she was hired by the Talent Development department of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), the famed think-tank that creates Disney’s theme parks. There, she designed and implemented a custom computer tracking system that provides instant access to the myriad of creative skills found at WDI. Also called “the skills bank,” this unique database, created via one-on-one interviews with hundreds of Disney artists, catalogued their skills, preferences and work styles, and is still utilized in the areas of career-path work and team-building. At WDI she had the opportunity to work with and learn from the top experts in the field of creativity.

Currently, she does career consulting, by phone and in person, on online via Skype.com, for creative people in songwriting and all artistic disciplines. She writes a blog containing creativity exercises and features educational articles about the creative process: Goosing Your Muse (http://www.goosingyourmuse.com). Contact her at: joann@goosingyourmuse.com

JoAnn has presented her Goosing Your Muse seminars and workshops on music industry publicity and/or the creative process for songwriter/music organizations, having appeared in the following venues throughout the past 20+ years:

  • Austin Songwriters Group, (Austin, Texas)
  • Arizona Songwriters Assn. (Phoenix), Annual Arizona Songwriters Gathering
  • Atlanta Songwriters Assn. (now Georgia Music Industry Assn. GMIA), Georgia State University
  • Bermuda Songwriters Assn. (Hamilton, Bermuda)
  • Bismarck Songwriters Assn., (North Dakota)
  • Boston Songwriters Assn. (Boston, MA)
  • Breckenridge (Colorado Mountain College) 1-week Songwriters Retreat
  • Chicago Songwriters Assn. (Chicago, IL)
  • Connecticut Songwriters Assn. (Hartford)
  • Dallas, Texas, Master Songwriters Group (Mary Dawson)
  • Denver, Colorado NSAI Chapter (Nashville Songwriters Assn. Int’l)
  • Driggs, Idaho (Jackson Hole, Wyoming) – Performing Songwriters 10-day Retreat
  • Eugene, Oregon, Lane Community College
  • Honolulu, Hawaii, Musicians Union of Hawaii
  • Houston Network of Lyricists and Songwriters (Texas)
  • Kansas City Songwriters Assn.(Kansas)
  • LASS Songwriters Expo, Austin, Texas
  • Nashville Songwriters Assn. Int’l (NSAI), Nashville (Annual SONGPOSIUM)
  • NSAI Chapters in Sacramento, San Diego, and Hanford, California
  • Philadelphia, PA, Songwriters Group (NSAI)
  • Portland Songwriters Assn. (Oregon)
  • Rochester Songwriters Assn., (Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Rocky Mountain Songwriters Assn., (Denver, Colorado)
  • Salt Lake City Songwriters Assn. (Utah)
  • San Francisco (Palo Alto) – West Coast Songwriters Assn. Conference
  • Seattle/Tacoma Songwriters Assn. (Washington)
  • Shaw Island (Washington), Song and Word Writers Retreats
  • Shreveport, Louisiana – Centenary College songwriters seminar
  • St. Louis Songwriters Assn. (Missouri)
  • Texas Songwriters Cruise to Cozumel, Mexico
  • Vancouver, BC (Canada) Craft & Business of Songwriting Seminars
  • Washington, D.C., Songwriters Assn.of Washington (SAW), George Mason University

JoAnn’s Profile

  • Industry: Arts, Entertainment, Radio, Television, Film, Print, Media
  • Occupation: Career Counselor to Artists, Musicians, Songwriters, Actors, etc.
  • Location: Los Angeles : California : United States : Planet Earth


  • Creative people (all levels – beginners to pros, all disciplines)
  • Personal Development, Psychology, Neuro-science
  • Politics, Current Events
  • Writing (stories based on ‘real people, real experiences’)
  • Reading (non-fiction)
  • Design – from package-design to architecture, love it all
  • Community Art Shows – attend as many as possible, often volunteer
  • Art Museums – visit as often as possible
  • Watercolors (I enjoy painting landscapes.)
  • Music (I’m a fan of excellent lyric-writing.)
  • Yoga, Meditation, long walks
  • Cross-country car trips
  • Travel – just talk to me about it
  • Slow foods (as opposed to ‘fast food’), smoothies
  • Farmers markets of all kinds
  • Possess a healthy curiosity about life on this planet and beyond.

Favorite Movies

  • Oldies:  Ghandi, E.T., Around the World in 80 Days,  almost any musical, almost any animation, Orson Welles, Spielberg, Ron Howard, Lina Wertmuller, Fellini, Bergman, more than I can recall.

Favorite Music

  • Blues
  • Folk
  • Some country
  • Some jazz
  • Some rock
  • Some classical
  • Mostly something I can sing or dance to
  • Lyrics that break my heart or make a positive political statement (protest is good)

Favorite Reads

  • Winnie the Pooh, Dr. Seuss, (classic fairy tales), Calvin & Hobbes, the Far Side.
  • Authors: Pema Chodron, Caroline Myss, John Steinbeck, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Albert Camus, William Shakespeare, Pico Iyer, Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Gilbert, Thomas L. Friedman, Jared Diamond, Daniel Pink, (not necessarily in this order)

Fun Facts (in no order at all)

  • Staff Member, currently, at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena since 1995, responsible for archiving/documenting grad art shows
  • Speaks French almost fluently (JoAnn’s mom was born in Paris, dad was American G.I., met in WWII.)
  • Traveled, lived, worked, studied in Europe before the age of 21.
  • Attended the American College in Paris (as well as University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia State University, and UCLA!)
  • At 19, worked 6-months, as a paid intern, in the Banquet Dept. of the Intercontinental Hotel, next door to the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland
  • At 21, traveled with friends in a VW Bus, 8 weeks camping, touring the entire United States
  • Was first full-time, female radio announcer (DJ), on the air, in Atlanta, Georgia. Don’t recall the exact year, ’76?. WPLO-FM went ‘stereo’ on MY show!
  • Temped 5 weeks at the Playboy Mansion, Los Angeles, in the audio-video department, categorizing/archiving feature films for Hugh Hefner
  • Performed in many school plays, including being the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, and Jake who was Annie Get Your Gun’s little brother
  • Was a folk singer (accompanied by flute & bongos) in the subways of Paris for a month — before I was 21. Most requested: “Summertime” and “Cotton Fields”
  • Sang “Suzanne” by Leonard Cohen, at Les Vielles Pierres (the Old Stones) folk club, in Geneva, Switzerland…accompanied by Robin Brown on guitar. I was 19.
  • Attended Svaroopa Yoga class since 1995, continuing an almost daily routine
  • Summer camp counselor in Hendersonville, North Carolina, for 8 weeks each summer (college). Fun: Sliding Rock in Maggie Valley, NC., Unto These Hills (outdoor drama), and s’mores, of course
  • Prolific correspondent, retaining chronological copies, life-long, of letters written to family/friends
  • Two brothers. No pets (they’re retired).
  • Taught “Goosing Your Muse” on the first Texas Songwriters Cruise – 2006 – to Cozumel, Playa del Rey (Mexico – Caribbean Riviera) – our first cruise
  • Happily married since 1984.

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