Janet Graham was born near Consett, Co. Durham, in 1948. She studied Composition with James Iliff at the Royal Academy of Music (1966-71), where she was awarded several prizes for Composition, and later studied with Elisabeth Lutyens. She married the organist Philip Deane in 1973. During the 1970s and 80s she worked in London and Hertfordshire as a composer and piano teacher and many of her compositions were performed in London and elsewhere. She received a number of broadcasts on Radio Three, and two of her pieces were selected for the BBC Young Composers' Forum in 1978.
In 1989-90 Janet trained as a music therapist at the Nordoff Robbins Centre in London, and for the following 17 years she worked at the Centre as a therapist and tutor on the training course. She also worked for the NHS in the St. Albans area of Hertfordshire. In 2007 she returned to the North East as Head Music Therapist for Nordoff Robbins North East and spent the following 6 years setting up new music therapy projects and running courses in the area as well as working in hospitals and care homes. In her career as a music therapist she worked with most client groups, including children and adults with learning disability and autism and older people with dementia.
Since retiring from music therapy in June 2013 Janet has begun composing again and is active in various local music groups in the Durham area, often playing the organ, piano, fiddle or guitar.