I am very perceptive to the personality, musical interests and learning style of the student. Some respond better with more rigid structures, some are more receptive to to more open ended practices within a conceptual/theoretical/technical or improvisational frameworks. One thing I always stress is not just what to play, but a process-based focus on HOW to practice and approach any musical passage and improve. I focus on technique and theory, but interweave these fundamentals into musical and song contexts that the student responds to. I am able to ask the student what song(s) they would like to learn, hear them on the spot, and then deconstruct the passage to whatever level is appropriate to the student’s skill and experience. After learning from me, the student will eventually be able to do this for themselves!
I have taught hundreds of students in my 17 years of teaching experience in various capacities and have the knowledge and experience to assist in furthering any student's musical journey.
I started gigging in the Gold Coast music scene and giving lessons from the age of 14, and have since returned from living in New York City for seven years, where I performed, taught and studied - eventually obtaining my Masters of Music at Purchase State University of New York. I was fortunate enough to play hundreds of gigs (from contemporary jazz, to wedding bands, accompanying pop/rock artists and more), record albums and tour across the USA.
As my CV below will show, I have taught at private schools, after-school music programs, studios, primary and secondary schools, and privately. These students have come from many demographics, and skill levels and musical tastes: from infants in non-music settings; beginners and children and assistance to their school or community performances; to advanced adults who are regularly performing and students preparing for exams and tertiary auditions, as well as conducting workshops at Conservatories themselves.
Do not hesitate to inquire. $70 listed rate is for a one hour lesson. 45 min or 30 min lessons are at reduced rate with discounted rates for bulk-lesson packs.
If traveling to student, added travel cost depends on distance and times.
— (2016-Present) New York City Guitar School.
Individual and group guitar and bass guitar lessons to students of all ages at Upper East Side and Brooklyn locations. Ensemble coach, and theory, song-writing, and beat-making workshops, for the adult and kids/teens rock band programs, and group instructor for afterschool programs at PS87 and The School at Columbia University. Preparation for and assistance during school performances. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, online lessons via zoom.
— (2018-2020) Midori and Friends.
Group Instruction for after-school program at two NYC public schools. Two groups consisting of 12 to 20 kids in grades 3 to 5 for PS314M meeting twice a week, and one group of grades 6 to 8 for MS324 meeting once a week until the COVID-19 outbreak.
— (2004-Present) Private Guitar Teacher
Private tuition of all levels and ages from beginners to professional musicians. Have conducted workshops at Queensland Conservatorium, Brooklyn Conservatory, and Baltimore Arts Collective.
— (2013) Multi-Disciplinary Teacher: Gymboree Play and Learn
Queens NY. Early childhood (6 months to 5 years of age) classes in Music, Art, School Skills, Sports and Play & Learn. Lessons of up to 15 children with their accompanying parent/nanny in each class
— Other teaching positions include:
Harrison School Of Music (NY, 2014-2016)
Beaumaris North Primary School (Melbourne, 2013)
Saint Laurence’s College (Brisbane, 2010-2011).
TERTIARY QUALIFICATIONS (and associated awards)
— (2016) Masters of Music: Purchase College, State University of New York. GPA of 4.2. Jazz Studies with Vic Juris, John Abercrombie, Timothy Albright and Jon Faddis. Awarded scholarship, a grant, and received the 'Graduate Award'.
— (December 2012) Honours Year, Bachelor of Music Performance: Victorian College of Arts University of Melbourne. Improvisation Stream. Individual study with Marc Hannaford, Geoff Hughes and Ren Walters. 'First Class Honours' result for my thesis 'Toward a Technique for the Performance of Two-Part Polyrhythms on Electric Guitar.’
— (June 2011) Bachelor of Music: Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. Advance Performance Major. Individual study with James Sherlock, Steve Newcomb, John Rodgers and Jamie Clarke. 'Award for Academic Excellence' in all years.
From the get-go upon meeting James in February 2020, he quickly saw deficits in my technique. James is always gentle, patient, encouraging and inspiring while being very clear about what I need to do to improve and firmly guiding me. There’s a comfortable space where James will both seek my input on what to work on and take me where he knows I should and can go. Learning guitar is challenging, sometimes daunting, but James has given me the confidence that I can do this and keep improving. He has gotten me to achieve numerous “breakthroughs” in my playing ability, and most importantly, he has greatly enhanced my enjoyment of and enthusiasm for the instrument. On top of it all, James is simply a warm, engaging, and terrific guy. I highly recommend James as a teacher to anyone who wants to learn!
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