James Baker is a Green Room Award winning musical director, consummate musician, and dedicated piano teacher.
With a passion for teaching students how to play, feel, and connect with contemporary and jazz music, James primarily works with the "Real Book", encouraging students to use their creative mind when approaching music, and not to get stuck only being able to read "the dots on the page". In addition to teaching the piano, each lesson has a wider focus on music, incorporating valuable aural, vocal, theoretical, improvisational and composition skills.
Lessons are available for beginners through to advanced players, take place on a weekly basis during the school terms, and are taught from a fully equiped home studio in Kooringal. Lessons during school hours are available at Kildare Catholic College and Mater Dei Catholic College.
Basic Chart Reading
Approach to different types of keyboards:
Piano, Rhodes, Synth, Organ and Clav all have an entirely different style of playing
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONTEMPORARY AND CLASSICAL PIANO?
As far as finger technique, mechanical skills, and scales go, nothing.
The difference is entirely in the mental approach, while classical musicians rely on written music, contemporary musicians rely on their own ear. What this means is, contemporary musicians can listen to a piece of music and work out the chord progression, rhythm, and melody in their mind, giving room to create music in the moment.
The key piece of the puzzle in contemporary music is chord theory, knowing exactly what a C, Gm, A7b9 is for example. The next step is “voicing” the chord, which notes of that chord are the most important, and in what order will they be played? How are you going to get to the next chord in the easiest way possible? Most music, both classical and contemporary, have particular “chord patterns” that are easy to pick apart once you begin to recognise the patterns.
Improvising also plays a huge part in contemporary music. I find most musicians that are scared of improvising seem to think that improvising is entirely based on “making things up on the fly”. The truth is, improvising is simply pulling together lots of different little ideas that have already been practiced, and piecing them together in the moment. In any improvised solo, only a small percentage will be “magic” that has happened for the first time in that very moment, every other piece of the puzzle is the result of practice, practice, practice.
In either approaching classical or contemporary music, two things remain the same, you must really listen to the music, and you must practice, practice, practice.
EXPERIENCE AND ACCREDITATION:
Certificate IV in Contemporary Music, NMIT
Working With Children Check
Fully covered by Public Liability Insurance
Over 13 years professional experience in the music industry
30 min lesson: $30
60 min lesson: $60
Full term fees are required in advance, and can be made by Cash, Visa/Mastercard, Paypal, or bank deposit