As a composer, jazz and classical pianist, and freelance arranger, James has a diverse musical background which inspires his teaching of classical and jazz piano, improvisation and composition. Holding a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Indianapolis and a Master of Music in Composition from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), he offers a creative approach to learning aimed at creating strong technique and encouraging personal expression. With a vast repertory spanning many styles, and including personal arrangements for students, James has resounding success with adults and beginners alike, guiding each student on their personal musical path to success.
B.M. - University of Indianapolis
M.M. - UC-CCM
James has experience working with all levels and ages, and advanced students have won awards, recorded on the radio, and gone to study music at schools such as Berklee College of Music. Understanding the unique dynamics that each student brings, James’ creative approach aims to customize each method tailored towards the student’s age, background, experience, and tastes. James frequently writes personalized arrangements for students! Incorporating improvisation and composition into his lessons results in many students writing and performing their first compositions. Students also learn how to expand on materials and make their own arrangements!
As an active member of MTNA, James encourages students to perform at MTNA events and competitions, and along with 2 annual studio recitals, advocates for students to perform as much as possible. James’ students regularly perform in church services, school choirs and bands, and outside ensembles, some making performance videos to share on social media. James loves introducing students to new music, and encourages students to develop strong, lifelong listening skills while developing a more intimate relationship with sound.