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James Gramze

Ypsilanti, MI 48198 (map)


Lessons Offered

Piano, Music

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

In Student Home


About Me

As a young child I would toddle up to the toy piano at the department store and stare at it in awe, ignoring all other toys. As an adult (age 53) I toddle up to the latest model electronic keyboard and stare at it in awe.

Music is everything. It is in your tone of voice while you ask a girl out for a date. It is your innermost feelings expressed over time on that percussion instrument known as a piano. Music is that blues number that makes the audience squeeze their knees together as you bend that all too precious note exactly right.

I don't care about music, that is to suggest that music is a thing. But it is everything about us, every sound, every absence of sound, every manipulative thing between person to person. It is shy and it is bold, it is our very essence. To ignore music, to deprive someone of a musical education, is to consider life and the ability to truly express yourself to be meaningless.

My Musical Education Background

Detroit Conservatory of Music as a child.

BS Degree in Music with a piano major from EMU.

School of hard knocks: Played in a Classic Rock band for 10 years.

Genres and Subjects Taught

I insist beginners follow a traditional course of study through a book series. This ensures that we cover all the usual expected bases while having fun in other directions at the same time.

I encourage improvisation, composition, learning pop songs from hit recordings (by ear), classical music, and computer recording techniques. Theory and vocabulary are big issues with me, but only so far as they serve our purposes.

At least once a month I record the student playing in order to show progress over time

Lesson Rates

I charge $10.00 for a half hour lesson. I'm worth at least $50.00 but times are hard and I am not needy. If you are gifted and cannot afford lessons, we can talk. You are invited to pay more if you can afford it and think the instruction warrants a higher rate.

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

I teach pre-kindergarten to retirees so long as you can climb one flight of carpeted stairs.

Students who think they are advanced might be surprised to find themselves learning easier pieces and focusing on breathing life into the music. It is not impressive to play something technically difficult like a robot; it is impressive to perform in a manner that is musical and emotionally moving, shaping phrases and larger musical ideas with tempo and volume changes.

My Certifications and Awards

BS in Music with a major in piano.

My Musical Influences

Geezer Butler, Chopin, and the birds on the window sill. Besides that see my MySpace musician page (click the "My Website" button at the top of the page).


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