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Neal Learner: Bio

Washington, D.C.-based writer Neal Learner has had a life-long love for music.

As a young man growing up along the banks of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, Neal excelled on many instruments, including violin, piano, guitar, bass and voice. He enrolled in the University of Michigan’s School of Music as a violin performance major before earning a degree there in anthropology. During his university years, he was a member of the Michigan Men’s Glee Club and sang bass in the popular a cappella octet, The Friars.

After college, Neal moved to Takasaki, Japan, where he taught English for two years in the city's elementary schools and municipal high school...and sang a lot of karaoke. Catching the travel bug, he backpacked around Asia and Europe where met his future wife Montse while singing and playing guitar on the streets of Paris. Returning to the U.S., he landed a job as an international travel director and led group tours throughout the world. After finally exhausting the bug, Neal took a job as a newspaper reporter in St. Louis, Mo., and went on to make a career in the fields of journalism and communications.

Neal was a prolific songwriter throughout high school and college, but let that skill slide for many years after graduation. The 2004 tsunami disaster in South Asia inspired him to sit down at the piano again with pencil in hand. He hasn’t stopped writing music since. In 2011, he released a self-produced CD of children’s music called Would You Like to Be a Mermaid?

Neal lives with his wife Montse and two daughters, Nadia and Nina, in Alexandria, VA