James Hartford

James H.

West Covina, CA
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
My services provide you with an opportunity to learn from a balance state of thinking to achieve success in your goals for the chosen instrument. Whether its technique, learning how to read both musically and literally, my teaching methods are very self reflective and introspective to provide the understanding you're looking for. All in all my sessions are very people friendly and driven to meet your needs. This helps to learn on a deeper level so that you may appreciate, learn faster and enjoy a greater sense of awareness for the fun of the music making process. I have a very warm and easy going approach with an emphasis on FUN so that we can connect to what we love to do which is make music.

About James H.

My name is James and I have earned a Master’s degree in Music Performance and graduated from Cal State Fullerton. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education received from the University of Redlands. I have performed with a variety of musical ensembles (college, orchestra, band, chamber groups) and have experience in all musical genres. Currently I am Co-principal of the Corona Symphony Orchestra and play in other groups throughout Southern California as well as the Elementary level band instructor in the Monrovia Unified School district. I have also taught and coached at several middle and high schools for the past few years, and I teach privately throughout the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire. My passion is educating the musicians of tomorrow and helping them discover their innate musical abilities and desires.

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are very student driven and revolve around developing students innate music abilities to help them connect and experience success as well as enriching their lives with music. In my lessons students will develop music appreciation skills by listening to music, understanding basic music theory concepts, growing a knowledge of historical awareness in music all alongside learning the instrument of their chosen preference. The pace set for the sessions is rather relaxed and is highly dependent on the student but, students are guided throughout the sessions to eventually achieve their goals. My main teaching approach is: Let me use my skills and knowledge to help figure out what works best for you!

*** Studio Equipment ***
The home studio lessons take place in the living room or a finished garage with tile floor. Seating is available in both areas. Parking is on the street. He has an upright piano.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide music as well as they can provide music as well. I can provide a music stand. They need to provide the necessary equipment that allows their instrument to function

*** Specialties ***
Primarily classical style and some jazz.


Write a Review
12 Reviews
Angela S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

James is a patient teacher who teaches fundamentals instead of only songs or chords, highly recommended for beginners, especially kids!

Posted Jan 4, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

James a very patient teacher also understood the needs of my son. My son learned a lot with him even though it was a short time I highly recommend him specially if you are struggling with the basson. My son is very happy with him.

Posted Dec 13, 2017
Cinthya P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

James was so very patient with me. I think I will learn a lot from him.

Posted May 15, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

he is the worst he can die in hell he is ugly from one of his students in wgis

Posted May 2, 2016
Zachary Z.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son loved his first lesson with James! He was very anxious to move forward at a more rapid pace, and James really encouraged him to take it to the next level. We were very impressed with James' communication and prompt arrival. We're off to a great start!

Posted Oct 29, 2015
Lora M.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

James is a very nice teacher. Easy going which is exactly what my son needs. Nothing too intense. My son had an easy time transitioning from clarinet to bassoon with Jame's help and they are doing good so far. I highly recommend him.

Posted Sep 28, 2015
Dylan J.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

James is very patient and we learn a song or two a week. We even learned three full songs last week! He can help you find the songs you like and excels at providing the instruction you're looking for while keeping a relaxed atmosphere. He explains how to read notes well and we just click with him.

Posted Apr 6, 2015
John B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

As a beginning saxophone player, the first lesson was just the basics (how to put the instrument together, hold it, and get the correct mouth and lip and finger placement. I was even able to get a few good notes out! Really looking forward to the next lesson. Will definitely purchase longer lesson time in the future, as half hour went by to quickly.

Posted Mar 21, 2015
Karen R.

Very cool teacher

Posted Oct 31, 2014
Joyce C.

Nothing But Blue Skies

James is the perfect instructor for me.
He is patient and very encouraging.
He finds music for me if I ask for it.
I am very happy to be learning from him.

Posted Apr 3, 2014
Marc L.

Excellent Lessons

After 40 years, I decided I wanted to learn how to play the piano. James has been an excellent teacher, taking me from knowing nothing at all about the piano to being able to play short songs. I look forward to practice and to my lessons every week.

James is patient, encouraging, and always offers helpful suggestions. Highly recommended!

Posted Sep 30, 2013
Juan G.

Patient and kind teacher

James was easy to warm up to and very relateable. He was quick to acknowledge the type of teaching style that works for me and kept me on track throughout the lesson.

Posted Oct 9, 2012


Oct 2013 - Present

OLLI band and orchestra

Develop and promote a senior’s driven wind band and orchestra; hold rehearsals, pick and program music for concerts; promote and contract performances for schools, retirement facilities, and other venues. Instruct sectionals and individual sessions

Music Director
Oct 2013 - Present

Garvey Unified School District

Established an elementary music program at 2 elementary schools. Focus is on developing coordination, music appreciation, and music awareness. Coordinate with principals to put on performances of students grade levels K-6th.


Masters in Music
Aug 2006 - Dec 2009

Cal State Fullerton

Bachelors of Music
Aug 2001 - May 2006

University of Redlands



Fluent / Native Proficiency

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