Robyn James

Robyn J.

Knoxville, TN
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

We know that starting lessons is a big step and we want you to feel confident booking with us. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll help you find a new teacher or you can receive a refund for any unused lessons within the first year from the date of purchase.

Lesson Details



Robyn passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Robyn delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 7+

Teaching since:
November 2002

I have been playing violin and viola for over 25 years. I hold Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music and teach assorted music courses at Pellissippi State Community College. I have taught children, teens, and adults; both beginners and continuing students. I learn where the student is skill-wise and we go from there. I also ask the student what his/her goals are, so that we have a set to-do list with which to work. Click the green button to get started!

*** Lesson Details ***
We will work at your pace--I will push you, but I am aware that everyone works at a different speed. I will learn that speed and work with you accordingly. I expect students to practice and do their best, but I also understand that life sometimes gets in the way. After a few weeks, you will know the basics of the instrument and be able to play recognizable tunes for your family and friends!

*** Studio Equipment - Parents ***
Music room/office for instruction. Living room with seating for parents/guardians.

*** Studio Equipment - Students ***
I provide a music stand in my studio, but nothing else. Students should have an instrument with all accessories (bow, case, shoulder rest) and also a music stand at home for practicing.

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Owner and Founder
May 2014 - Present
Robyn James Ensembles

I play viola and violin for Robyn James Ensembles, a group which performs for weddings, receptions, corporate parties, memorial services, and other events. I'm also the owner, meaning that I handle all of the business. Over the past 13 years we've provided services in Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Virginia.

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Adjunct Music Instructor
Aug 2007 - Present
Pellissippi State Community College

I teach music appreciation, music fundamentals, and applied viola and violin.

Adjunct Music Instructor
Aug 2013 - Dec 2015
Lincoln Memorial University

I taught music appreciation and string techniques (a methods course).

Violin/Viola Instructor
Sep 2011 - May 2012
Community School of the Arts

I taught private lessons to grade school children.


Master of Music in Viola Performance
Aug 2002 - May 2006
University of Tennessee
Bachelor of Arts in Music
Aug 1998 - May 2002
University of North Carolina Greensboro


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Teaching the Violin and Viola: Creating A Healthy Foundation
Apr 2017
Northwestern University

Course taken via Coursera
Grade: 100%


Outstanding Adjunct Instructor, 2015-2016
Apr 2016
Pellissippi State Community College


Music Teachers National Association
Apr 2016

The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.

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American Viola Society
Mar 2016

The American Viola Society is a nonprofit organization of viola enthusiasts, including students, performers, teachers, scholars, composers, makers, and friends, who seek to encourage excellence in performance, pedagogy, research, composition, and lutherie. United in our commitment to promote the viola and its related activities, the AVS fosters communication and friendship among violists of all skill levels, ages, nationalities, and backgrounds.

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American String Teachers Association
Mar 2016

The American String Teachers Association, founded more than 60 years ago, is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers. ASTA's members range from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. The organization provides a vast array of services, including instrument insurance, an award-winning scholarly journal, discounts on publications and resources, annual professional development opportunities, and access to collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession.

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Photos & Videos

June 2018. Joy Wildflower Photography.

Memorial Day Wedding with Robyn James Ensembles, May 2016. Tara Kneiser Photography.

Spring 2016. Karen Stone Photography.

Pellissippi State Community College Faculty Showcase Recital
October 2, 2012
"Blackberry Blossom"
Fall 2011. Melissa Merritt Photography.

I discovered that I can play the verse and chorus to "Go Tell It on the Mountain" using almost all natural harmonics! #nerd
I arranged this at the request of a bride a few years back. Her fiancée was a HUGE Star Wars fan, so this was their recessional.
Performance with the Dirty Guv'nahs at the Bijou Theatre, September 25, 2010. Katie Norrell.

Fall 2016. Photography By Anjelica.
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9 Reviews

Write a Review
John W. Apr 23, 2017
Violin · In studio

Robyn has proven adaptable to my needs. Very good instruction.

John W. Apr 22, 2017
Violin · In studio

She (successfully) tries to provide the exact assistance you need or want. She's good.

Forrest Oct 3, 2016
Violin · In studio

Amazing instructer. Very helpful and willing to work and improve.

Mohini B. Sep 23, 2015
Violin · In home

Robyn is fantastic, patient and kind! As an adult beginner, I thought this was going to be an impossible thing to learn. Although the violin is difficult, she makes learning fun and I feel like I have learned so much in just a few lessons.
I would recommend without a doubt!

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Deanna Jul 18, 2015
Viola · In studio

Robyn James is an excellent viola teacher! She is patient, kind, extremely knowledgeable, understanding, and easily adapts to each student's individual playing style and ability. She is also very flexible when it comes to scheduling (especially if a scheduling conflict occurs). I've played the viola for 10 years and I had taken a small break from the instrument when I was introduced to Robyn in school. Since starting lessons with her almost a year ago, my confidence as a person and a player have improved and I have her to thank for it. She is always able to answer any and all of my questions, and if she doesn't have one right away, she does her research and gets back to me by our next lesson. She is very serious about what she does and you can tell how much she loves it. She also knows how to challenge her students in a way that is not overwhelming, and, as long as you come prepared and ready to learn and grow, she is one of the best teachers that you could possibly ask for. I look forward to seeing her every week. Robyn is the best!

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EddieY Mar 6, 2014

Robyn - perfect combination!

I'm one of those violin students who has an unbelievably hectic schedule, and so I need two things from an instructor: someone who can be genuinely sensitive to that and at the same time able and willing to take the time to determine what will encourage and motivate me to stay on task.

Robyn uniquely combines these two traits along with her obvious knowledge of and skill in playing the violin. If you're anywhere near the Knoxville area, and are looking for the perfect fit in a violin instructor, I can highly recommend to you Robyn James. You will not be disappointed!

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JeremyWhitehead Mar 6, 2014

Viola Lessons

I have played the viola from sixth to twelfth grade, but never taken a private lesson until signing up to take one at Pellissippi State Community College. From the first day of the lessons that semester until the last I looked forward to going to them. Robyn easy to get along with and an excellent teacher as well as violist and violinist. While I haven't had her as an instructor for violin using what I know from my viola lessons and having heard her play violin I would imagine those lessons are just as fun and fruitful as the viola lessons.

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AngelaA Mar 6, 2014

Professional and enthusiastic teacher

Robyn is an excellent, enthusiastic, and professional teacher who loves to teach. She is very knowledgeable about music. She plays examples of new music for her students and always comes to lessons prepared. Most of all, Robyn knows how to encourage her students to keep trying.

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Karin B. Feb 24, 2014
Viola ·

We enjoy viola lessons again!!

Robyn is wonderful, professional and fun. My son had some other instructors who taught him, but not who allowed him to have fun with his viola. She offers very constructive advice on how to improve and is very positive. Also, our schedules move around quite a bit and she is very helpful and flexible finding different times for lessons when necessary. We couldn't be happier with this instructor!

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