- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+
- Teaching since:
- July 2003
My name is James and I am a professional multi-instrumentalist/composer from the metro-Detroit area. I've recently completed my B.Mus. Degree from Wayne State University, concentrating in Jazz Studies with a minor in Music Theory/Composition. I've worked as a private and group lesson teacher in and around Detroit for the last ten years and have more recently started directing choirs and musical theater casts with ages ranging from 4-approx. 90. My experience started at 3 years old with learning and performing Traditional Arabic music, and eventually moved on to American folk, Rock, Jazz, and Classical finally landing me in Wayne State's college of music. I learned completely by rote, and didn't learn to read music until I was 18 years old. This has given me a firm appreciation for balancing a completely formal approach to music with a completely home-grown one. The upside of this in an educational setting is that I can comprehend a student that has no formal training but does have a natural knack for music. I try to give a student a heads up on the intangibles, musicianship, and functionality, while still keeping it fun and giving them the opportunity to be a rock star.
*** Lesson Details ***
In lessons, I try to create a comfortable and student driven environment where we work on building up a student's personal sensibility. I'm fairly laid back, though students are accountable for their own practicing and comprehension of the lessons. I concentrate on finding the best way for a student to approach the instrument and whatever music they are currently practicing/performing. After a few months of lessons, students will start gaining the ability to create a groove in a multitude of styles. Lessons focus on balancing technical studies, scales, patterns, etc. with creating a personal style and feel. Generally, about half of the assignments in lessons will be brought in by the student, pieces/tunes they want to learn, and styles of music they want to focus on. The other half will be my assignments and lessons on theory, music history, and good, solid technique.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide guitars, amplifiers, books and staff paper. I expect students to have their own instrument, including a Drum Set.
*** Specialties ***
Gypsy Jazz, Big Band style guitar, with a firm grasp of bebop and single line playing. I've played Blues and Rock and Roll for years as well. As a percussionist, I've been in Rock and R&B Bands for my entire life on drum set, and on world percussion I've performed traditional Arabic music on doumbek and riq for the last 20 years. As a composer I've written pieces for Big Bands, String Quartets, Full Orchestras, and Choirs, and tunes for ensembles ranging from solo pieces to 9 or 10 piece bands.