James is an experienced teacher, community musician and trainer whose work encompasses a range of sectors: primary, secondary, post-compulsory and community education. James has worked as a session musician and arranger, as musical director/composer for several theatre productions and community projects, and also toured as composer/dancer with Green Candle Dance Company. Other previous roles include: instrumental and classroom music teacher; head of music; music centre manager; community and youth arts leader; freelance musician/workshop leader, and music education development consultant. He has also been director of the Lewisham Academy of Music and was the Partnerships and Community lead for The Conservatoire in Blackheath.
In 2000 James was appointed as Head of Instrumental Service in Hackney, where he led on the creation and development of instrumental music provision and programmes, before becoming Head of Music Service in Dec 2010.
In 2012, with the introduction of the National Plan for Music Education, building on previous successes, James led on the development of the Hackney Music Education Hub bringing together 25 – 30 diverse music education providers to establish common goals and ambitions for high quality musical experiences for children and young people. Through sharing expertise and resources with others, Hackney has a thriving network of organisations providing access and progression in music for children and young people in the borough.
James is currently leading on developing workforce awareness of and approaches to embedding inclusion and diversity in music education across Hackney’s music network partnerships.