A native of Rochester, New York, I began piano lessons at age 5 with my
mother. Into my teens I studied at several prominent private studios including the famous Eastman School of Music. I also played brasswinds
(trumpet and trombone) in school band. After high school, I entered SUNY Fredonia as an organ major, later transferring to Stetson University in Deland FL. While raising a
young family, I entered Peabody Teacher's College in Nashville. Afterwards I trained as a Navy broadcast journalist, and once a civilian again, I
spent five years as a classical radio announcer & producer at NPR affiliate station WPLN.
In 1985, I completed a bachelor's degree in church music at Belmont University (cum laude) and returned for a master's in music education, conferred in 1991.
The area of emphasis for my M.M.E. degree was
Elementary/Primary Pedagogical Methodology (translation: how to teach music to kids in K-8). My internship was at Montessori Academy in Brentwood
teaching preschool through 6th grade. From 2000-2007 I was a staff instructor in piano and organ at Belmont Academy, as well as a vocal coach. Then in 2008
I launched my own business--James' Music Studio--based in my church. Later I expanded to The Classical Academy and Williamson County Parks & Recreation.
Nowadays, having relocated to Clearwater, I continue to teach online and at the City of Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center.
Mr. James is listed in the