Where are Lessons Offered
Virtual / Online
After 8 years with Belmont Academy, I opened my own studio at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Franklin where I was organist for 16 years and had 60 piano students.
I moved to Clearwater, Florida in November 2022 and teach online.
My Musical Education Background
I studied piano in some of the finest studios in Rochester NY, including the Eastman School of Music. I branched out into organ and church music, studying at SUNY Fredonia, Stetson University, George Peabody College for Teachers and lastly at Belmont in Nashville where I earned a Bachelor of Music in Church Music and a Master of Music Education (K-8). I've taught privately for over 20 years, 8 of which were at Belmont Academy.
Genres and Subjects Taught
NOT just classical! As a teacher of piano and organ, I specialize in beginning through intermediate levels, and accept students of all ages. I also teach most styles, including jazz & pop. Theory and improvisation are text (method) based, since I believe it's crucial to have an intellectual comprehension of the principals of harmony, melody and form. People who can play by ear already do so...may the force be with them! I also teach voice (was a vocal coach for Belmont Academy) with a focus on interpretation, styling, phrasing and vocal production.
Tuition is payable monthly in advance. $28 for a 30 minute lesson (recommended for most students). No registration fees or contracts. A free meeting to get acquainted is suggested before signing up. Lessons at the Parks Dept. are slightly higher. Please see my Rates page (click on Website button above) for details.
Ages / Skill Levels Taught
Ages 4 through 70... I start 4-year olds in "My First Piano Adventures," a pre-school method with lots of graphics and games (Levels A, B & C). For 5s, I use the Primer from the Piano Adventures series, which has 5 levels. This is a comprehensive core of 4 books: Lesson, Performance, Technique & Artistry, and Theory. Piano Adventures for the Older Beginner is geared for young teens, and P.A. for the Beginning Adult suits all other ages.
My Certifications and Awards
B.Mus. in Church Music (organ/voice) Belmont College '85
M.M.E. Music Ed. (K-8) Belmont University '91
My Musical Influences
Our daughter is 4 years old and is loving her piano lessons from Mr. James. He is fantastic! We are very pleased.
This is the best lesson ever!
Joyner enjoyed the first lesson and he really likes you. We are both very pleased.
Thanks so much for your tremendous encouragement and direction that you have blessed me with through this month of lessons. You gave me so much! Blessings to you over and over again! I hope to send some students your way!
Mr. James is the greatest. I hope to learn to become a master piano player like he is.
Newest comment (April 2011)--this is from the mother of my very first Japanese students, Mari (5) and Sara (8)... Mr. James, Thank you for the lesson today! Girls love you so much. They were so excited and practiced after choir!!! I can't believe it. You are amazing :) Thank you, Ai Yamada