Mr. James Rice

Piano Teacher

James Rice

SAA Member


Chapel Hill, NC
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James Rice holds a Masters in Collaborative Piano from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, a unique state conservatory in Winston-Salem, NC. He was a student of Dr. Allison Gagnon, and regularly worked with many other artist-teachers in the piano, voice, and instrumental departments. Before this, he was awarded a Bachelors in music education from the University of Tennessee where he studied with Fay Adams. He graduated with a focus in piano and voice summa cum laude. He also studied in the United Kingdom at the Ian Tomlin School of Music at Napier University Edinburgh with Nicholas Ashton. In 2013, James worked with collaborative pianist Carolyn Bridger at the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop and with Anne Epperson during her residence at UNCSA. James also was accepted as one of the collaborative piano assistants for the summer of 2016 at the Oberlin in Italy summer program.

Certified Every Child Can and books one through three, as well as book seven, he is also certified to teach vocal and general music K-12. Over the past few years at Chapel Hill School of Musical Arts, and as a teacher at the Joy of Music School in Knoxville, he garnered valuable teaching experience with all ages and levels, and believes that music is an important aspect of any person’s education.

Mr. Rice believes that all teaching should be positive, and encourages his students towards well-rounded musicianship—aural and visual skills, music theory and history, and an exposure to multiple styles and periods are essential to his teaching philosophy. Recognizing that each student has his or her own goals and talents, he therefore feels that individualized education should meet students where they are to propel them toward meeting their goals, whichever direction that might take them. Mr. Rice’s experience with jazz and church music helps ensure that all his students are able to pursue a wide variety of musical styles.

Along with the belief in positive teaching, Mr. Rice believes that a positive performance base is essential to each student’s development and believes in ensuring that students are confident and ready, by taking students through all aspects of musical performance. Most importantly of all, he believes that “every child can,” that education should be an uplifting experience, and that music instruction is more than the conditioning of fine motor responses–it is a preparation for life.

An active accompanist in the Triangle, he is an experienced church musician, vocal coach, and instrumental accompanist. He is also active in musical theater, church and school performances, as well as university studio lessons and studio recitals. He is a teacher at the Triangle Music School, and lives in Chapel Hill with his wife and three children.