James Essary

James E.

Austin, TX

About James E.

Background check: Last verified 11/03/2016
James passed a background check on 11/03/2016 that included the following:
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James teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: 2008
Last sign in: 4 days ago



My name is James Essary. I offer private music lessons in piano, guitar, bass, drums, music theory, songwriting and music composition. I've taught through my own private studio for the past 8 years and have also taught music theory and composition for CCISD's WAVE program.

I pride myself on offering fun lessons that incorporate a strong development in music theory, ear training, sight reading, improvisation, and composition. I find it very important to put each student's individual interest first. I believe if you are learning what you truly connect with then all other aspects of music become fascinating and meaningful.

I have a Bachelor's in Music Composition with piano as my main instrument as well as an associates degree in classical guitar. I also have professional experience as a recording session musician and live touring musician. Through this experience I've studied several genres including classical, jazz, pop, rock, folk, and country which helps me adapt to each student's taste and goals.

In addition to teaching, I also work as a producer, recording engineer, and composer. This background allows me to offer my students a special inside view and education on how songs are written, arranged, and recorded. I've often written pieces and produced recordings for students of mine.

I teach in home lessons and have my own private studio. The studio has a private recording studio and a teaching studio. The teaching studio is equipped with a Chickering console piano and also provides proper equipment for guitar and bass instruction.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Photos and Videos

Performing at Houston's Discovery Green


Music Instructor
Jan 2008 - Present
James Essary Private Lessons

Taught all age groups from beginners to advanced in many different aspects of music.

Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Bass, Drums, Music Theory, Voice, Music Composition, Ear Training, Music Engineering, Music Production

Music Theory/Compostion Instructor
Jan 2008 - Jan 2015
Clear Creek Independent School District

Taught music theory and composition at Westbrook Intermediate for their magnet program, WAVE. Students learned music writing software and had their compositions performed by classmates.


Bachelors of Music Theory/Composition
Aug 2009 - May 2011
Houston Baptist University
Associates in Classical Guitar Performance
Aug 2006 - May 2009
Alvin Community College

Languages Spoken

Fluent / Native Proficiency


2009 Oustanding Music Student Award
Jan 2009
Alvin Community College

6 Reviews on James E.

Write a Review
Pastor Nov 17, 2016
· Piano · In home
James is the most thorough music teacher I have had. His lessons are personalized yet comprehensive. He has a way of listening to how his students learn and adapting. While at the same time, he considers all aspects of learning an instrument important and will incorporate music theory, instrument technique and rhythm to ensure a complete understanding of what his students are practicing or playing. Just one lesson with James can set you on a motivated learning path, imagine what consistent lessons could do.
Joshua Nov 16, 2016
· Bass Guitar · In home
I remember when I wanted to learn Beatles covers on bass. Westley owns this giant book of sheet music for every Beatles song and how to play it. So I was learning the exact way it was recorded. I remember coming to his house and showing him a short cut I found to play the song easier with my clumsy fingers. I showed him and he didn't say anything. I asked him what was wrong with the short cut I found and he smiled and said "that's not how Paul played it". I thought I was just learning Beatles covers, but Westley was teaching me to play bass like Paul McCartney.

Amazing instructor and great guy.
Allison Nov 15, 2016
· Acoustic Guitar · In home
I learned to play the piano as a child and recently wanted to learn the guitar. Wes was recommended to me by a friend, and after engaging him as a teacher, I soon also had him teaching my son (Ukulele and Piano), and my daughter (Piano). Although I already was proficient on the piano, Wes has been amazing at teaching me (what I should have learned previously) about Music Theory and Voicing and many other aspects of playing solo & in groups. He often has my children and I playing the same songs (from different angles) so that we can play together. He adapt to our crazy schedule and often provides insights and tips throughout the week via text messages (so we don't get stuck). We all play in various informal groups and Wes helps us practice and with arrangements. He is fun to talk to - has great insights and we all look forward to our weekly lessons. We are in Houston and visit with Wes in person 2x a month and Video lesson 2x a month. Both work really well. I highly recommend Wes as a teacher for all ages.
Eric Nov 14, 2016
· Guitar · In home
I started guitar lessons mid-life with no instrumental experience. My goal was to become capable enough with the guitar to entertain family in "sing-a-longs." After a few months, Wes helped me find some other players for a recital of sorts. He went way above and beyond any expectations I would have had for a teacher. I learned 10 songs, the band played along and I was hooked.
My surgical practice requires a lot of my time. Wes has always been flexible and professional with me; trying to find a way to get a lesson in when something didn't work out as I planned. He is diligent and really committed to his students. I have found that he is always thinking about the lesson from the perspective of the student. While he never compromised his principles for getting the work done, he always seems to meet me on my level and challenge me to improve.
Wes has an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music history, instrumentation, production, and touring. He brings this knowledge in small but important ways to each lesson. He teaches me music theory. He gets me hooked into how each idea might be incorporated into song. He also makes sure to summarize what I need to know. Many times he just has me practice with him during my lesson. Like any teacher, he stresses practice and has taught me many, many valuable practice techniques I now use on my own. Wes is a fantastic teacher. I have friends who say the same thing about him - friends taking piano, ukulele, drums, and bass guitar. I give him my highest recommendation.
Eric S. Powitzky, MD, FACS
Caleb Nov 14, 2016
· Bass Guitar ·
Anyone looking for lessons should feel lucky that James is in your area. He's a smart, hardworking person, and a great musician. Not only will studying with James help you gain proficiency on your instrument but he will help you with his vast knowledge of music's inner workings. Being in the same room with him will make you smarter as a musician and as human being. Look no further.

Caleb Quillen
Double Bassist, Kansas City Symphony
Lauren Nov 14, 2016
· Piano · In home

My son started taking piano lessons last year (March 2015-ish) because I decided that he needed something else to occupy his time (and energy) that wasn't martial arts related. He was 8 at the time when he started and needless to say, I wasn't sure how he would like it. I am thankful that I decided on pursuing lessons and committing to James as his instructor because my son responded really well to his teaching style. He made my son see piano music as something more than just a skill. I realized this when I began noticing my son's curiosity and appreciation for piano when he willingly chose songs to play on his own and pushed himself to learn the music and confidently play it in front of our family (he even printed the lyrics to the song so he could sing while playing it!). This to me was a huge sign that James is in fact the best out there for us and we will continue to see him for as long as we can.

He event went as far as to provide my son with sheet music to his favorite band's (Twenty one Pilots) songs that my son requested and created a teaching plan for my son to learn the music. We live in Houston but James continues my son's lessons once a week either in person or online. We were also able to stop by his new studio in Austin to have lesson during our weekend vacation.

He seriously knows his stuff and more importantly, he knows how to motivate his students. He takes the time to get to know his students in order to determine the best method of instruction for optimal learning.

Long story short; James is great. The best out there.
James Essary
James E.

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