James Schulz

James S.

Castro Valley, CA

Lesson Details



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

Teaching since:
June 2009

Hello! I am a performing freelance musician who loves to teach. I recently graduated from the Master's of Music program at the San Francisco Conservatory of music. I've played with many groups and orchestras in the bay area including the Symphony Silicon Valley, Berkeley Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony, Stockton Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, and more. In my undergrad, most of my playing was in jazz. I've toured Europe (Italy, Switzerland, and France) with a big band in 2007, and performed at Yoshi's. I began on the electric bass in high school, playing in bands and everything from the Beatles to Tool. I also picked up some electric guitar. I've taught double bass annually at La Honda Music Camp as a double bass counselor, and look forward to taking on many students and sharing what I've learned, and what I will continue to learn with them!

*** Lesson Details ***
I am easy to get along with, and I relate very well with students. Lessons are laid back and I tend to make a lot of jokes, but the material itself is rigorous and I expect a great deal of effort. I enjoy sharing musical philosophy, and I believe that private lessons have generally 2 main functions. 1) For the student to achieve the level of learning how to practice independently from the teacher (and discover their own musical voice), and 2) (at an advanced level) for the student to learn that specific teacher's approach to musical philosophy and that specific instrument.

My curriculum will vary greatly depending on the needs or wants of the student. For beginners, I might start with exercises/etudes to begin developing fluency or coordination. I will teach how to read music and understand the fundamental building blocks of music theory, and continue depending on the student's interest. The materials depend on the genre and instrument. For more advanced students lessons will be more focused on specific topics (advanced techniques, repertoire, excerpts, theory, auditions, philosophies, etc).

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students provide the instrument, music stand, and books or materials which will be discussed.

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Master of Music
Aug 2011 - May 2013
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Sep 2006 - Jun 2010
California State University East Bay


Fluent / Native Proficiency

Photos & Videos

Headshot by Rob Schultze

Recording with Ensemble Mik Nawooj, an Oakland-based Hip Hop Orchestra.


3 Reviews

Write a Review
Natalie M. May 28, 2016
Upright Bass · In home

I have taken both electric bass and upright bass lessons with James, and I can definitely say that he is by far the best private instructor I've had. He is experienced and very knowledgeable. With my experiences with other instructors I've noticed an apathy towards the growth of their students (which of course, is not very pleasant). This teacher, however, is the opposite. He is very encouraging and pushes his students (without actually being pushy) to develop musically. Plus, he is very helpful with all things music related - whether it's from changing strings properly or choosing the right instrument. Without this learning experience, I would have not been able to join the school orchestra with just a couple of months worth of playing. Overall, James is great, and I highly recommend him.

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Adam A. Oct 23, 2014
Upright Bass · In home

James is very accommodating to my needs and offers valuable suggestions for me.
I have a very specific reason and goal with the lessons and he works that in every time.

Ugo S. Feb 12, 2014
Upright Bass ·

Great Teacher with lot of experience!

James has lot of experience especially on the kind of music I'm learning. There wasn't even a single piece that he was not able to give me advices and improve the way I play (or try to play).

Also on the personal side he is really friendly and ready to help on any other informations like basses, bow, strings, songs, books, etc.

To summarize, I saw a lot of progress in my playing after taking the classes with James... totally recommend him!

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