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1969 Batchelors Degree in International Economics, University of Oregon
1970 Diploma Vulcan Missile Maintenance School, U.S. Army, Fort Bliss, Texas
1986 Grant from NIKE Corporation to creating running and walking music to the biomechanics and biorhythms and bioacoustics of NIKE Airshoes
1984 Armstrong Memorial Research Foundation Certificate of Merit, Second Place, Music Category
1985 Grammy Nomination for Anthology of Sacred Carols for Classical Guitar, Album Notes
1987 National Wilbur Award for Broadcast Journalism National Public Radio and Armed Forces Radio Network
I have been teaching kids from 5 to adults age 72 in New Jersey for 20 years, and just love it. I try to impart the joy of performing I learned in concert to the hearts and hands of my students. I also try to inspire them to bring their own songs, personality and ideas to the table, as their is no greater motivator to practice and perform. I point to their hearts, as that is where their joy comes from. I have a degree from the University of Oregon, toured in concert in 43 States, have produced and recorded several awarding-winning instrumental and vocal/guitar/piano albums of my own lyrics and arrangements. I teach both instrumental and vocal/guitar and vocal/piano accompaniment.
I am founder and director of EAGLE MASTERWORKS PRODUCTIONS, have written and/or produced the words and music for several network commercials, one internationally released sound track for a film, and four nationally released recordings. James's network commercials include: several Mattel Toy spots; Woodsy Owl Give A Hoot, ("Keep America Clean" Campaign Public Service Announcement, for the Department of Agriculture at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising); Stretch & Sew Fabrics; and Your Local Church Welcomes You, for the National Episcopal Foundation. Through initial funding from NIKE, I and my wife Karen produced personalized pace exercise music for runners and walkers. This commissioned work led to his developing walking and running tapes endorsed by PREVENTION Magazine and recommended in hundreds of national and international publications such as the WASHINGTON POST. My first solo record album is entitled Freedom Flight, on Lamb & Lion Records which features production services from Larry Norman, Paul Stookey, Tom Howard, and Wendell Burton (actor lead in Sterile Cookoo with Liza Minnelli).
I arranged and recorded two guitar solo album in the beautiful wooden sanctuary of Jan Hus Presbyterian Church in New York City entitled: An Anthology of Sacred Carols for Classical Guitar and An Anthology of Sacred Hymns for Classical Guitar were subsequently released on EAGLE MASTERWORKS PRODUCTIONS (formerly Eagle Records Masterworks). Both albums aired on National Public Radio as part of two documentaries I wrote on the history of Christmas Carols and Hymns. My Christmas album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Album Notes and Second Prize for the Armstrong Memorial Foundation, and later was licensed to IBM Corp. as a multimedia CD-ROM. His hymns guitar works and documentary won the National Wilbur Award in Radio Broadcasting. These two instrumental works are at times ferocious; at times fragile and delicate. His complete collections of poems and lyrics are available as Ebook or Kindle at Amazon.com. My In Concert and other works are available at CDBaby. I am aproducer, writer, and concert artist. I teach guitar and piano privately and in classes over the last 20 years faculty at four music schools near NYC. I am happily married for 32 years and have a grown son who is a nurse in San Francisco and a daughter who is a Sophomore at William Patterson University in Criminal Justice. I look forward to meeting new students inspire for the next generation.
Techniques and Methods for Guitar and Piano:
Guitar: Alfred's Basic Guitar Book One, Two
Solos for Classical Guitar: 135 Repertoire Pieces by Fred Sokolow
Famous Classical Themes Easy Guitar, Lisle Crowley
A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar, Hal Leonard, Book I, II
Fingerpicking J.S. Bach by Marcel Robinson w TAB
Classical for Guitar, w TAB, Jerry Snyder
Great Songs for Fingerstyle Guitar, Hal Leonard
A Treasure of Classical Guitar, w TABS, Hal Leonard
World's Favorite Solos for Classical Guitar #43, Harvey Vinson, Ashley Pub.
Pre-time Primer and Beginning Reading to their Levels I and II popular, kinds songs, classical, and rock n roll.
I use Faber Piano Adventures Accelerated Piano Adventures For The Older Beginner Lesson Book 1 and 2 (I used this for two adults too)
Piano Adventures: Level 1; 1 2A (lesson, Theory)
My First Piano Adventure for the Young Beginner Writing Book A Pre-Reading
Teacher’s Choice for the Young Pianist Early Grade, by Allan Small, Claire Music Company.
Student Favorites (for both piano and guitar):
Pop & Rock, Folk partial list samples:
Star Wars themes
Somewhere over the Rainbow (ukulele too)
We Are the Champions
Star Spangled Banner (National Anthem; Jimi Hendrix electric guitar with distortion)
The Entertainer (Ragtime)
Taylor Swift Series
Classical and Flamenco partial list samples:
Air on a G String
Bouree, from Lute Suite No 1, Carl Fischer
Prelude from Cello Suite #1
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
Ode to Joy
Largo (New World Symphony)
Study in Am Carcassi
Hall of the Mountain King, Edvard Grieg
Christmas Carols and Hymns, e.g., Silent Night, Carol of the Bells
Guitar Techniques and Skills:
Sight-reading Standard Notation Treble Clef; note values, dotted notes, rests, syncopation
Names of Strings and names of notes of entire fretboard
Open Chords vocabulary and fingering
Minor, Major, Diminished, Augmented, 6th,
Seventh, Maj7, 2nds, 9ths, Flat5, Flat9, 11th, 13th
Octaves, Fifths, all Intervals
Barred Chords (Full, Half, Two-Thirds, One-Third Bar vocabulary and Left Hand Fingering (All Keys)
Finger per fret rule
Finger per string rule
Ladder Principle (Left Hand fingering)
Strumming patterns for 2/4, ¾, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 Time Signatures
Fingerpicking patterns for 2/4, ¾, 4/4, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 Time Signatures
Right Hand 3 and 4 finger simultaneous chord strike
Flamenco Strumming variations
Flat and plastic fingerpicking Harmonics, false harmonic, ping harmonics
Left Hand damping
Left hand chord muting
Righthand fretboard slapping percussion effects
Hammer-ons, Pull-offs (Slurs)
Power chords (Rock)
Major, Minor, Pentatonic Scales, sharps, flats, accidentals
Chord progressions, deceptive cadence
Producing Concert/Recital Performance Presentation Skills/Mike Techniques
Pro Tools Recording Software.
The key to my teaching style is to take my personality that has been so effective in concert and use it as a catalyst to inspired my students to gain confidence, set goals, and press on to master their instrument. For the younger students, I tell them to think of their guitar as a teddy bear and hug it like your best friend and that fingering is not your foe but your friend. I combine this with techniques such as in the Alfred's and Hal Leonard books and invite them to bring their own ideas and songs to the table, as there is no better motivator to practice their instrument then to love the songs they are learning.
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