BJ grew up in Halifax, NS. As a child she was formally trained as a classical pianist through the Royal Conservatory of Music Program completing grade 8 by the time she was 13. As a teenager BJ began to explore the world of pop music; writing songs, singing and accompanying herself on piano and guitar. This eventually led her to attend the Humber College Jazz program in Toronto; majoring in vocal performance. After graduating from Humber College in 1983 she began a performing career in Toronto as a singer, accompanying herself on piano and guitar. She continued performing after moving to Vancouver in 1984 then later to White Rock in 1986 where she and her husband settled to raise a family.
She began teaching piano at the request of a friend in 1988 and found it extremely satisfying and a welcome addition to her performing career but she wanted to make sure her students weren’t limited to only learning to play by reading music. She had found her early studies with the Royal Conservatory had not prepared her for a career in pop music; she had never learned to play by ear. This led to her decision in 1992 to train as a Suzuki Piano teacher. BJ has maintained a studio of between 20 and 25 piano students for more than 20 years.