James Blumer is a Licensed Andover Educator, violin teacher, and a freelance violinist based in the NY metropolitan area. He serves on the faculties of the Elizabeth Faidley Studio, Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, and Luzerne Music Center. His violin students have gone on to win numerous competitions and performed as soloist with orchestra.
As a Licensed Andover Educator, James is sought-after as a clinician on the benefits of Body Mapping in performance and pedagogy. Frequently, he offers Body Mapping lessons, workshops, and masterclasses to inform musicians on how understanding the body's natural design can improve movement, leading to performance enhancement as well as injury prevention. James has taught at numerous schools and organizations including the Manhattan School of Music, Ithaca College, Luzerne Music Center, Biennial Andover Educators Conference, and the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference. He also serves on the board of Andover Educators.
James completed performance studies at Montclair State University, the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria, and Ithaca College. While at Ithaca, he also completed long-term Suzuki training with Carrie Reuning-Hummel. James is currently undergoing the three-year teacher certification program at the American Center for the Alexander Technique.
Notable influences include: Boris Kucharsky, Susan Waterbury, Jennifer Johnson, Sylvia-Elisabeth Viertel, and Weigang Li. James has performed in master classes with Shmuel Ashkenasi, Cho-Liang Lin, the Shanghai Quartet, Mark Fewer, the St. Lawrence Quartet, and Judith Ingolfsson.
"My son has been learning the violin for about 5 years, but only started taking lessons with James Blumer through the Elizabeth Faidley studio less than a year ago. While I thought I was fairly satisfied with violin teachers prior to this, the contrast with James’ style is very dramatic. James is able to quickly identify problems, explain the source of the problems clearly and provide directions on what needs changing.
Equally important is his (and the Faidley Studio’s) approach to practice. James sets simple, focussed exercises that isolate techniques, allowing the student to really understand how different sounds are produced. This is so different from the standard approach of “studies” which seem to often mix and confuse multiple techniques, making it hard to make progress on any one - especially for beginning students.
Finally, James is simply a great communicator with wonderful patience for young people. He uses analogies with soccer to get difficult idea across and breaks the lesson up with a variety of exercises to help keep the focus throughout. I really did not understand what a really good instrumental lesson looked like until this year. As a consequence, my son’s interest in violin is really increasing. James is truly giving him the lifelong gift of music.
- Kathryn, Mother of Sky, 10
“After a series of false starts, James is the fourth violin teacher that my eight year old son Jack has had, but he is the first one who has been able to teach, challenge and motivate Jack in such an effective way that I am continuously surprised and impressed at the improvements Jack is making. James keeps the lessons interesting and fun, with a seemingly inexhaustible wellspring of ideas and games to keep Jack focused and to help him learn and remember new songs. Jack often remarks that the lesson time passes quickly, and when practicing he will frequently recall the tips James gave to help him through a song, or laugh again about something funny James had said. I'm very glad to see Jack learning to make music an enjoyable part of his life, and for this I'm very thankful to James and Elizabeth.”
- Benita, Mom of Jack, 8
“I am grateful to James for teaching so well, and for having the vision, patience, and persistence it takes to handle my young, and often restlessness son. I am very proud of the progress they have made together.”
- Deidre, mom of Alex, 5
Gold medal winner National League of Performing Arts Solo Competition, 2017
Sylvia and Jacob Handler Master Class with Weigang Li, 2017
Gold medal winner National Young Maestro Competition, 2016
2nd place Rondo Young Artist Festival, 2016
2nd place East Coast International Competition, 2015
2nd place East Coast International Competition, 2016
Gold medal winner National Young Maestro Competition, 2017
2nd prize National Young Maestro Competion, 2017
2nd prize National Young Maestro Competition, 2017