Composition, Keyboard, Organ, Piano, Singing, Music
Where are Lessons Offered
In Teacher Studio
In Student Home
After 8 years with Belmont Academy, I opened my own studio at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Franklin where I am Organist-Choirmaster. I now teach at three additional locations in Williamson County.
I welcome students of all ethnic backgrounds and celebrate middle Tennessee's diverse international population. Nearly one-third of my student body is Asian!
I also cater to homeschooled children and offer semester grades for those wishing to receive elective arts credit.
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 one month in advance. $22 for a 30 minute lesson (recommended for most students) $33 for 45" (intermediate) $44 for 60" (advanced) No registration fees or contracts. A free meeting to get acquainted is suggested before signing up. A family discount is offered for two or more students from the same family.
I will come to your home under special circumstances. 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
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