A Bit About Me
Jim teaches guitar, electric and upright bass, mandolin, banjo, fiddle and ukulele at the Black Hills Studios of the Arts.
Like many students, Jim started his formal music education in the fourth grade playing violin as well as participating in school choral groups. In high school, Jim fell in love with the guitar and started private guitar lessons and he was in the high school drama society appearing in the high school production of Oliver as the character "Bill Sykes."
Jim is a graduate of the University of Connecticut where he received his B.A. However, he continued formal music studies taking string pedagogy classes at the University of Connecticut as well as private lessons in classical guitar and upright bass at the Hart College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.
While at the University of Connecticut, Jim worked as a guitar teacher at the local music store and played in local bands. And after graduation he moved to Colorado and spent the next ten years playing music in road bands traveling throughout the southwest learning from some great musicians. After leaving the "road" life, he joined the faculty at the University of Colorado at Denver as an adjunct instructor in their music business program teaching classes in music business and music publishing.
After a stint of living in Hot Springs, South Dakota, where his wife ran a bookstore, Jim, his wife and their golden retrievers then moved to Rapid City where Jim answered an ad seeking a guitar teacher and he was hired on.
Jim is particularly pleased to be teaching music again. Jim has performed locally, but it is teaching that he enjoys the most. Jim's students range in ages from 6 to 83 and he teaches a variety of styles including classical, pop, rock, folk and bluegrass. Most important, Jim's goal is to help each individual student develop his or her potential and experience the pure joy of making music. To this end, Jim is a member of the National Association for Music Education, locally South Dakota Music Education Association (SDMEA) in an effort to continue learning, network with other music educators, and for student access to state and regional functions, and not to mention he is continually designing individual lessons and group experiences.