Jim Williams started studying music as a child at the age of four. His education includes a bachelor’s of music degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Oakwood University. While there, he studied with Dr. Julie Moore-Foster, and worked with collaborative pianist Dr. Frank Contreras. While there he studied vocal performance, vocal pedagogy, and piano proficiency, as well as various theory, sight-reading, and other music related courses.
Jim began teaching beginning to intermediate piano lessons in 2015, first starting with younger children and eventually adding adult lessons to his schedule as well. After receiving instruction as piano and voice student, Jim became very interested in practice techniques, performance techniques, and different theories and practices founded to help students improve their musical abilities and experiences. With piano instruction, he believes that positive reinforcement is key to all success and growth, and enjoys affirming student’s strengths. Jim sees “weaknesses” as opportunities to positively overcome challenging road blocks. He sees the challenges as potential catalysts for incremental and important growth, and he encourages his students to approach their weaknesses with patience and positivity. The piano is a wonderful instrument that can begin, enhance, and introduce musical experiences for people of all ages and all skills. Jim enjoys helping students achieve success regarding their personal musical goals, and loves how piano performance and instruction can inspire creativity and fulfillment in both musical and non-musical spheres.
Jim’s personal mantra concerning vocal instruction and performance is: “Everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard”. With this thinking, Jim can instruct students of all levels, skills, abilities, and backgrounds with one common goal in mind – enhancing the natural voice and preferred style of each individual student. Classically trained, Jim uses a classical based technique when teaching vocal methods, vocal production, and discussing vocal health. This health-driven classical technique helps students unlock the natural and beautiful aspects of their unique instruments (voices), and allows them to grow within the preferred musical styles and genres of their choosing. Jim himself performs music primarily of a classical nature, and has sung some musical theatre and older standards as well. However, he has had the privilege of teaching students who perform various and varied musical genres, and he has enjoyed working with different vocal and musical styles in relation to the voice. He has been influenced heavily by several different musical artists, and can listen to and appreciate all kinds of musical genres and styles. Jim loves catering to a wide variety of students, and appreciates being able to help them reach their vocal goals. Some of his students desire to sing in front of large crowds, while others desire to be able to comfortably sing karaoke with their friends. Jim believes that every aspiration and goal a student makes is of great importance no matter the depth or scope of them, and he does all he can to help students improve, master, and enjoy their vocal experiences and voices.
Jim performance experience has included singing with chorus in Handel’s Messiah, Leslie Adam’s Blake, Verdi’s Requiem, as “Sarastro” from Die Zauberflote, "Colas" from Bastien und Bastienne, as "Bartolo" from Le Nozze di Figaro, with New York Lyric Opera Theatre at the Lincoln Center and at the Carnegie Hall. He enjoyed his experience as the baritone soloist for Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ with Valley Conservatory Orchestra and Oakwood Adventist Academy. Previously, he was a chorus member and soloist with First Presbyterian Church’s Chancel Choir of Huntsville, Alabama where he grew up for most of his life. Jim was also a proud member of Oakwood University’s traveling choir - The Aeolians, and toured nationally and international with them as a soloist and choir member. Some of his favorite trips with the world renown ensemble included tours to Russia, England, Wales, Jamaica, Canada, and Budapest. Jim currently sings with the Georgetown Presbyterian Church Choir, and performs as a bass-baritone soloist in the D.C. Metro area.