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Information About James - Cardiff teacher -

References

This is how 4 referees rated James:

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Instruments Taught

Bass Guitar

Hourly Fee
Beginner £30.00
Intermediate £30.00
Advanced £30.00
Expert £30.00
Casual £30.00

Double Bass

Hourly Fee
Beginner £30.00
Intermediate £30.00
Advanced £30.00
Expert £30.00
Casual £30.00

Music Theory

Hourly Fee
Beginner £30.00
Intermediate £30.00
Advanced £30.00
Expert £30.00
Casual £30.00

Composition

Hourly Fee
Beginner £30.00
Intermediate £30.00
Advanced £30.00
Expert £30.00
Casual £30.00

Map Location

Personal Description:

Professional double bass player and composer based in both Berlin and the UK. I am an active performer in the jazz and improvised music scenes as well as in orchestral and chamber music settings. I also love to compose and am composer in residence for the Cardiff based creative enterprise, Make The Paint Dance, as well as leading several of my own projects and being a sideman playing original music on the European jazz scene.

Jazz and improvised music is my focus as a professional musician, however, I also have a love for and appreciation of other non-jazz music, especially 20th Century composers such as Ravel, Shostakovich, Bartók and Stravinsky, and folk music from places such as Hungary and Bali. These worlds, as well as worlds outside of music such as art and literature, are as influential and important to me as jazz, especially in my approaches to composition. I have also had experience in orchestral settings (symphony, chamber and string orchestras), having also studied classical double bass with renowned bassist Thomas Martin, and also lead my own chamber ensemble in Berlin.

I have performed in venues in the UK such as the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall, at Manchester and London Jazz Festivals, as well as regularly touring in venues across the UK and Europe (Sweden, Germany, France and Slovakia). I have also performed on live radio broadcasts for the BBC, BR Klassik in Germany and Sveriges Radio in Sweden.

Tutoring Experience:

Workshop leader for Jazzlines (Town Hall/Symphony Hall Birmingham) - Leading and assisting in workshops and annual summer schools for varied group sizes of mixed ability, including both vocalists and instrumentalists. The focus is teaching jazz repertoire and theory aurally and aiding in confidence in improvisation and self-expression. The role also involves some real-time composition and arrangement for groups of mixed instrumentation, including but not limited to strings, brass and woodwinds, as well as rhythm section.

Composition workshop leader and composer in residence for Make The Paint Dance (Cardiff) - Whole class workshops for Key Stage 1 and 2 primary school students in music and composition, for majority non-instrumentalists. Exploring music’s relationship with art and exposing children in underprivileged and underfunded schools to professional level performances and the work of great artists and composers of the 20th Century. Introducing and workshopping new and non-traditional approaches in music and art making.

Private one to one tuition in the UK and Berlin - jazz, theory, classical, improvisation, composition/arrangement

Previous:

Mentor/Workshop leader at Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department (2013/2014) - Leading and assisting at the junior school of Birmingham Conservatoire (ages 11-18). The focus was teaching jazz repertoire/theory aurally and assisting instrumentalists in private tuition and ensemble skills (piano/bass/guitar/drums). Mentorship led to substitute teaching for staff at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Tutoring Approach:

As well as being my career, performing and writing music is my passion. I believe that being an active performer and composer who themselves is always in search of new ideas and still developing a voice is key to giving students the best advice to guide their own development.

Learning from my own experiences (and mistakes!) during performance and practise and being able to quickly establish the level of the student enables me to pass on only the most useful and beneficial knowledge, thus enabling them to develop their abilities quickly, no matter their musical interests, age or ability, and guiding them in the areas in which they wish to develop the most. Giving practical applications alongside theoretical or technical knowledge (e.g. sight reading, ear training) and incorporating improvisation and playing music together into every lesson means the lessons are both constructive, creatively fulfilling and fun. As well as this, I provide tuition for Grade and music theory exams as well as guidance on Conservatoire applications and auditions.

I also teach composition and find the best approach is if the student brings a piece, idea or concept that they are working on, as well as any questions they might have, which we can then work on together. This is a very rewarding way of learning composition as the student begins to develop an understanding of their own compositional voice and how to further their ideas, and thus how to develop this over time. If the student wishes, I also focus on other areas of composition in more general terms, such as: how to begin a piece/coming up with ideas, orchestration/arranging (especially for chamber ensembles, strings, and voices), developing themes, instrument specific knowledge, setting texts, incorporating improvisation into pieces, and much more. Through my Masters studies with Greg Cohen and John Hollenbeck, I have learnt which approaches work best for each individual student, and can provide resources necessary for both the beginning and more advanced composer to help them feel confident in their writing, eventually allowing them to guide themselves through composing a piece of music.

Finally, I like to be available for guidance by email and phone, if the student has small questions or ideas, and provide this as part of my teaching. I am also available to teach via Skype when not in Cardiff (this can work especially well for composition and theory teaching).

Tutor Resources: (free to download)

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Native Language: English (British)
Availability: Weekends / Weekdays (all times)
References Available: Yes (✔ On File)

Qualifications:

  • Jazz Institut Berlin/Berlin University of the Arts (2016) - Composition and Double Bass (Masters) (✘ Not On File)
  • Birmingham Conservatoire (2014) - BMus (1st Class Hons) Jazz (Bachelors) (✘ Not On File)
  • Rockschool (2009) - Grade 8 Electric Bass (Professional) (✘ Not On File)
  • ABSRM (2008) - Grade 5 Music Theory (Professional) (✘ Not On File)

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