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James teaches

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About

James delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:
1989

I'm currently a professor at EMMAT, a member school of the Berklee International Network. I have over a quarter-century experience teaching people of all backgrounds and styles. My education is a mix of formal and informal, and in addition, I have worked as a professional musician and singer my whole life.

I consider everybody that comes to me to be reachable and teachable, and pride myself on having accomplished what many people considered to be impossible with my students. I believe that through dedication and discipline anybody can accomplish their musical goals, no matter how hard it may seem.

In piano, I have my own custom method that borrows heavily from the exercises designed by Donhanyi. In voice, I follow closely the techniques taught by great teachers such as Seth Riggs and Brett Manning, but I have more than a few tricks of my own.

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Experience

Senior Professor, Piano, Voice and Ensambles
Jan 2009 - Present
EMMAT

Teaching classes, running ensambles, and developing curricula.

Music Director
Aug 2003 - Aug 2008
St. Augustine's Catholic Church, Bronx NY

St. Augustine's is famous for integrating non-traditional styles of music into the Catholic Mass, such as gospel, salsa, merengue etc.

Education

Diploma, Piano
Jan 1981 - Jun 1989
Royal Conservatory of Music

Languages

French
Limited Proficiency
Italian
Professional Proficiency
Portuguese
Professional Proficiency
Spanish
Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

homemade video of a rehearsal. This is traditional Colombian music called Vallenato.
Rockin' out onstage with my incredible guitar-playing friend Diego La Torre.
Rockin' onstage as usual.

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Solo ballad at a concert in a theater last year in Villavicencio, Colombia.
This is a gospel choir in concert, trained by me. In this video, I'm on the piano.
Blast from the past.... I was 18 years old when this was taken!!

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My personal wrecking crew getting ready to blast out another fine recording.

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At the academy...

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Onstage in Bogota, 2012.

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10 Reviews

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Sebastian May 7, 2016
Piano · In studio

He's very professional at what he does, his teaching methods are the best, and his classes are never boring

Santiago May 5, 2016
Piano · In studio

His no nonsense approach makes lessons great. You always leave with a clear goal to work for next lesson. Would recommend with eyes closed.

Os May 3, 2016
Singing · In studio

He's the man ! An excelent musician as well as a teacher. He deserves nothing but success. A quality over the top musician.

Sergio May 1, 2016
Singing · Online

He is the best, I've been looking for someone like this my entire life

David Palma Apr 30, 2016
Singing · In studio

I enjoyed my classes with James , im a Colombian artist and i really liked the experience, it was important for my singing career and i also had good laughs and a cool , relaxed way of learning, Thank You James

Arturo Apr 27, 2016
Singing · In studio

I always loved music from a very young age, but I never really got involved in it because I thought that you needed a celestial touch or something like that; I believed that one was simply born a musician and that was all there was to it. This wound up making me a bit frustrated, so as an adult I started taking guitar lessons, but I felt that this wasn’t enough. Fortunately, I met James through a recommendation from a mutual friend, and started to take singing lessons with him, starting from zero at 38 years of age. I now have more than 3 years taking classes with him and it has been incredible, because today I can sing in a way that I never in my life thought I’d be able to. I still feel like a novice, but now I’m a novice who sings in tune and has great vocal technique thanks to discipline and to James’s teaching methods.

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Andres Apr 27, 2016
Singing · In home

He has an extensive musical background, which let´s you explore any style. His virtuoso piano playing, and his vast repertoire, make the material you can cover in class infinite. He has a great attitude and is a patient teacher. he knows how to explain what he wants you to learn. I have been playing music and singing for 30 years, and he has been my best teacher.

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Harold Apr 26, 2016
Singing · In home

James helped me to get my musical level at the 100%. After receive some tips, i was ready to reach the next level. A great musician and an awesome coach

Julio Apr 22, 2016
Singing · In home

He's the best teacher that I've ever had, he taught me a lot of techniques for singing like a real singer!!! Thanks James, you are the BEST!

Pablo Andrés Apr 21, 2016
Singing · In studio

I love the singing classes with this guy because he takes close care of the characteristics of each student. Is not just a fixed sript or program, but the live interactions with the student's advances or weaknesses.

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