As an experienced educator and musician, James is passionate about how Ableton’s workflows can enable musicians to develop their confidence and outcomes as composers and performers.
- Essex United Kingdom
James has been involved in making music since he was eight years old, as a chorister of St. Edmundsbury Cathedral Choir. Starting with a classical background in singing, piano and oboe, James got turned on to rock music when his voice broke, and then taught himself electric guitar, bass guitar and drums, performing in high school bands. Armed with a Tascam four-track and access to Cubase in school, James became fascinated with music technology and production, leading him to study an undergraduate degree in Popular Music with Music Technology at Derby University.
James studied for his PGCE in Secondary Music at Cambridge University in 2004 and has been teaching in secondary schools ever since. He is currently the Head of Music at Mayflower High School in Billericay, Essex. During his career he has taught general music at KS3 as well as GCSE, BTEC and A-Level Music. His music departments have been built around his ethos of high-quality singing and engaging learning environments, as well as pushing the boundaries of music technology and school performance contexts.
James has been using Ableton Live since 2008 and is passionate about how Ableton’s workflows can enable musicians to develop their confidence and outcomes as composers and performers. James’s teaching spaces are designed so that musicians can choose the equipment they need to be successful, and this often involves the use of Ableton Push – particularly when encouraging musicians to think differently from their usual instrument of study to open up new compositional avenues. For those musicians who want to further enhance their knowledge, he offers one-to-one or small group introductory training in Max For Live.
James is particularly interested in helping teachers develop their knowledge, confidence and skills using Ableton’s products within their institution. He also has availability for booking one-to-one sessions with any musician that would like support with their learning and development on Ableton products via Zoom. When time allows, he creates music under the name Verona Push.
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