James Thompson

James T.

Woodland Hills, CA

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I started playing Violin at age five which lead me to study a bachelor of performing arts at WAAPA, Australia.

From there my music has taken me all around the world, playing in Orchestras in Australia, Europe and now America. The US government granted me an extraordinary ability visa in music, recognizing me as one of the best performers from my home country which allows me to teach and perform music in America.

I love passing on my knowledge to new students to help them grow as musicians, nothing is more satisfying to see someone learn how to play an instrument and watch them really enjoy the process.
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James teaches



James delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 3+

Teaching since:
January 1998

I started my musical career at the age of 2, on the piano, shortly afterwards moving to the violin, and the viola. Earning the music scholarship at school for best classical musician, and later on the scholarship for best orchestral instrumentalist at the world renowned music conservatoire WAAPA (West Australia Academy of Performing Arts). Earning my first diploma (A.Mus.A) at age 14, my music has taken me all around the world. I've played such places as the Australian High Commission, Rheingoldhalle in Mannhein, Dvorak hall in Prague, Australian embassy in London, Disneyland in Paris, and the opening the Australian embassy in Berlin, all before the age of 18.

Most recently through my many musical endeavors, I have been granted a visa of extraordinary ability as musician to enter the United States.

Since then I have lead the LADSO viola section, played with the West LA Symphony Orchestra, played alongside Laryn Hill, a show presented by Quincy Jones, played in movie orchestras, recorded for studio sessions, performed electronic violin for private parties and nightclubs across the US.

*** Lesson Details ***
I have been teaching music since age 11. My mother is a concert pianist and I started off by teaching her students the violin. I have taught ever since and I love it. I have studied in Australia, Europe and the US.

I will help you create a fantastic technical base so you will be able to play with ease as your skill level develops, all while keeping the lessons fun and engaging.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, Violin, Viola, Music Stand, General Teaching Aids, Recording Equipment.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide a music stand and basic materials but the student is expected to have their own instruments and to buy the music I recommend. I will help source and instruments and materials.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical music. I also teach other styles of music including improv, how to play pop music and can help you reach any musical goal. In Australia I used the AMEB syllabus. Which is the Australian examination system for music. I also teach Suzuki method and similar methods. I like creating a great foundation with a lot of exercises and scale patterns to really build up a solid base.

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Mar 2014 - Present
West LA Symphony Orchestra

Playing Viola in the Orchestra

Lead Violist
Oct 2013 - Present

Lead Violist at the LA Doctors Orchestra. Brought in to help bring the Orchestra together

Music Producer
Jul 2013 - Present

Music producer for my own YouTube Channel AussieJames

Electronic Violinist
Jun 2013 - Present
Aussie James

Electronic Violinist for hire. Have played in Hollywood at such clubs like Bootsy Bellows, Tru, Lure and many private parties

Freelance Studio Musician
May 2013 - Present
Aussie James

Play in many studios recording Violin, Viola and Piano lines for film and artists


Jan 2013 - Mar 2013
"RCM" Royal College of Music
Bachelors Degree
Jan 2004 - Dec 2006


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Diploma in Music AMUS A
May 2001

I received my first Diploma in music at age 14. The School I went to held a special assembly in my honor.


Best Orchestral Instrumentalist
Mar 2005
Music Scholorship
Mar 2002
Carmel School

Photos & Videos

Playing around with a looper peddle on my electric violin to a song everyone will recognize.
Playing a cover of Kaskades song Last Chance
Playing electronic violin at Lure nightclub Hollywood
Some solo Bach work on the Viola
Playing the theme song from Game of Thrones. For this cover I played Violin, Viola and Piano.
Photo by James T.

Photo by James T.

Photo by James T.

Photo by James T.
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29 Reviews

Write a Review
Ethan K. Feb 9, 2018
Violin · In home

First lesson was wonderful. James was patient and very knowledgeable. My son is looking forward to lesson.

Katrina B. Apr 12, 2017
Piano · In studio

James is a great teacher. I haven't practiced piano in years and James made it enjoyable and easy to get back into it.

Naum Y. Jan 26, 2017
Violin · In studio

After several lessons I should say we are very pleased with the teacher and his instructions style. My 12 year old is enthusiastic and waiting for his lessons every week.

Victoria Nov 10, 2016
Violin · In studio

Great first lesson!

Adan C. Oct 26, 2016
Violin · In studio

He is really good. Exellent. I would recommend to anyone who really wants to learn violin.

Sarah J. Oct 5, 2016
Violin · Online

Had my first lesson yesterday! James is very patient and thorough in his way of explaining things. Very excited for lesson 2! So happy!

Lucas A. Oct 5, 2016
Piano · In home

James is really a wonderful piano instructor. Very knowledgable, up-beat and patient - the right combination of attributes to keep our 12 years' old son happy and engaged throughout his entire 45 minute session.

Ruby H. Sep 25, 2016
Piano · In home

Knowledgeable and affable. Great way of positioning things so you can pick up concepts easily. Highly recommend.

Donaco S. Aug 11, 2016
Piano · In home

Perfect first lesson. He gave me just enough info to feel comfortable and just enough homework to not overwhelm me.

Yanjing L. Jul 3, 2016
Violin · In studio

James is great teacher! I have learned so much during one single class!

Shawn P. Jun 27, 2015
Violin · In studio

Good first lesson, excited for lesson 2

Stephanie B. Mar 15, 2015
Violin · Online

I've always wanted to play the Violin, but finding the time was always an issue for me. Everyone I know who plays an instrument always comments on the hours of practice they have put in. The way James teaches is just incredible! Everything is broken down into easily understandable techniques and it has taken a lot less time that I ever imagined to be able to play the songs I love! After just a few lessons I was even able to play songs that my friends recognise, and everyone's really impressed with my new skills. I'd highly recommend having lessons with James, his patience and understanding are unsurpassed and his approach is just perfect. You'll enjoy every minute!

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Amy V. Mar 10, 2015
Piano · In home

James has been teaching me piano for some time now. I've gone from a complete beginner to finally being able to play my favorite songs. I really never thought it was possible! He makes the lessons fun but at the same time informative so I always
know what to practice and I'm never left confused!

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Elijah G. Mar 9, 2015
Violin · Online

As an older student, I was stuck on the notion that my ability to play piano was just a dream that more than likely couldn't come to fruition. To my surprise, I was proven wrong quite quickly. Not only was I able learn the proper posture quickly, but James, being ever so patient, led me through a step process that made it clear to me what I needed to do in order play.

Upon recalling my prior instructors in youth, I don't think I remember having such a kind and adept teacher to instruct me. I really do believe that in less capable hands I would not have accomplished nearly what I have so far. Because of James, I am actually learning how to play the violin; something up until him, I thought was never going to happen. I couldn't be more pleased.

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Mitch H. Mar 9, 2015
Piano · In home

James has been really great. He has an easy, effortless way of explaining things and approaching scales and techniques. He's given me the foundation to be able to play the songs I want to play. He's easy-going, knowledgable and fun.

I was just learning for fun, and now it's a big part of my life thanks to James.

I would strongly recommend him to players at any level.

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Alice B. Mar 9, 2015
Piano · In home

I had always wanted to learn how to play the piano, but I thought it would be too difficult to learn as an adult (not to mention too time consuming). I was so wrong! James is extremely patient, warm and encouraging and he makes the whole learning process fun. After several months of James’ teaching, I am now playing some songs and am eager to learn more! I never thought I would enjoy taking lessons this much. Thanks to James, I’m looking forward to continuing my quest to master the piano. If you’re looking for a great music teacher who keeps it upbeat and enjoyable, work with James!

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Kelly W. Mar 8, 2015
Piano · In home

I was always inspired by the piano. My Grandma was a fantastic pianist, and I always wanted to learn, but was too afraid to learn after hearing for years that either you have it or you don't. Feeling like I might not have natural ability, having a teacher that is encouraging and patient was really important. James was that patient and encouraging teacher, and thanks to him, I've been progressing more than I thought. He is a natural teacher with a talent for adapting to different learning styles. His lessons are so helpful, and I rarely feel frustrated like I have learning instruments with other instructors. Within a couple of months, I felt so much more confident with how far I've progressed than I thought I would.

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Ajay S. Mar 8, 2015
Viola · In home

James not only understand the fundamentals he has an amazing gift for helping students apply them through his teachings. I have been very happy with his lessons and highly recommend him for anyone who is serious about mastering the Viola.

Verity S. Mar 8, 2015
Piano · In home

James taught me the piano while he still lived in Australia. He was absolutely amazing! He was very patient, easy to understand and extremely talented! He was overall a wonderful instructor. He is very encouraging and he always tried to make the lessons fun! He is a very passionate person when it comes to his music and I am so proud and happy that he has come this far! I would most definitely recommend James to anyone!

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Ashley S. Mar 8, 2015
Piano · In studio

I've always wanted to learn the basics of piano so I can learn how to play my favorite songs, I never thought this would be possible until I met James, he was so informative, helping me build my foundation with scales and exercises so I can now play everything I want to with easeeeee :)

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Wesley V. Mar 8, 2015
Piano · In studio

James is a very relax and inspirational teacher. He helped me understand the piano, music theory and creating melodies better.

His perfect pitch is amazing, would want to learn that from him in the future!

Damien L. Dec 16, 2014
Violin · In home

I had a few lessons with another teacher on violin. I came across to James because the other teacher wasn't really working out and I was having trouble understanding. James really walked me through each step of the way so well. He has great patience that really helped me relax and learn so much faster. It has been a great experience.

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Jessica T. Dec 16, 2014
Piano · In home

After playing saxophone for the last few years I wanted to learn the basics of piano. The piano has always been one of my favorite instruments. James made it so much easier than I could have ever imagined. I thought it would have taken a lot longer to get the basics down but within no time at all I was already playing songs that I love. He really broke it down step by step making it easy for me to know exactly what I needed to practice to get me where I wanted to be. I highly recommend James as a teacher, he is friendly and fun to work with. I always look forward to my lessons each week.

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Ryan L. Dec 8, 2014
Violin · In studio

James is an excellent violin/violist! I have worked with him on numerous occasions and he is a responsible and talented player. I recommended James to teach string lessons to children at a private studio in Arcadia and all the students loved him and learned a lot. Overall, James is an great choice for music lessons, his lessons are fun, educational and inspiring. Study with James today!

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Blake E. Apr 21, 2014
Piano ·

James is Awesome!

Taking lessons with James is fun, not a chore. He's a funny laid back Australian guy and he's extremely talented. I look forward to every lesson with him and i have been progressing quickly.

Mack K. Mar 16, 2014
Piano ·

this dude rocks

I've been playing guitar for years now and wanted to learn the basics of piano. James was very helpful and he taught me how to play scales and arpeggios. He was very meticulous in teaching me the correct playing techniques and posture. We also had some music theory lessons in which he taught me how to read the treble and bass clefs. Now I can play the pieces that I wanted to play and also record myself on the piano and then play the guitar on top of it.

I recommend James for both Piano and Music Theory lessons. He was a great help to me and very professional.

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Mary Anne B. Mar 12, 2014
Viola ·

Thank you

James has been working with my daughter for a month now. His teaching method is great. On day one he walked in and got straight to work. It was great seeing his ability to get his point across and for Olivia to understand right away. I think she is going to have a great time learning the Viola.

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Donna D. Mar 2, 2014
Violin ·

Having fun!

My son Brandon is 10 years old and he had an unpleasant experience with his past violin teacher. Since he has been with James (2 1/2 months), he has been so much more happy and is not afraid to let his teacher know when he does not understand something. His old teacher would scold him. James is young and talented and is a refreshing change. He works with the students interests too which makes it fun and exciting for the student to learn. He also has a very good knowledge of the skills needed to succeed!

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Chris S. Feb 21, 2014
Violin ·

great teacher

James is very patient and personable. He is Australian and a nice guy. I like the way he teaches and he's the best of the 3 teachers I've had so far. He requires the work without making me feel stupid like a lot of teachers do.

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