Playing the piano should be an act of great joy and pleasure! With a proper grounding in technique, theory, and repertoire study, that aim is within reach of everyone. My studio is for students who love the piano and are committed to improving their playing one step at a time, in a highly structured and supportive environment.
Credentials and Experience
degrees from Harvard University (Bachelor of Arts), the University of Arizona (Master of Music), and the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University (Doctor of Musical Arts)
9 years and counting of college teaching experience, including at the University of St. Francis (Piano Program Head) and College of Marin (Music Department Chair)
experience teaching private lessons to elementary-, middle-, and high-school students; college students; working professionals; and retirees
concerto soloist with the Louisville Orchestra, Arizona Symphony, Mill Valley Philharmonic, and the Lucas Valley Chamber Orchestra
orchestral pianist/keyboardist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, West Suburban Symphony, Mill Valley Philharmonic, Marin Oratorio, and other ensembles
composer and performer of “Tonal Recall,” an album released in 2018
regular performer at College of Marin as soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician
Student Comments (unsolicited)
“I want to write with an unsolicited enthusiastic recommendation regarding Jim’s teaching. He is extremely expert in his field, but also well organized, a clear communicator, energetic, creative, enthusiastic. And overall an amazing educator. I have been a student and/or volunteer faculty member at other colleges (Duke, Yale, Stanford, UCSF), and Jim’s teaching ability and performance are among the very best that I have ever encountered anywhere. This is not an exaggeration. Being an expert in a field, does not necessarily make one an excellent teacher, but Jim Stopher is a truly excellent and dedicated educator.”
— J.S., Marin County
“Hi Jim – I wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience in your class this semester. I’ve had many professors / teachers in my life (both in undergraduate and graduate studies… albeit not in music) but I must say you are one of the best, if not the best, I have encountered. I really appreciated the energy and enthusiasm you brought to every class, the adherence to a tight/solid structure, the respect for your students, and of course your incredible mastery of music.”
— C.R., San Francisco
“You are one of the most wonderful teachers I have ever had the gift of working with. Because: You are so passionate and dedicated to your craft. You are committed to music and you have been and continue to practice and grow. You are so organized, attentive, patient, clear, concise, and directed in all of your lessons. You really value your and our time so you prepare to make the most out of every class and rehearsal minute. Above all of this and essential for me and I would say everyone really is your great kindness, faith in our ability as your students to grow, compassion, humility, empathy and open heart. Thank you for who you are as a person, such a kind person. We need more teachers like you in the world!
— M.N., Marin County