North West and Stone Oak

All ages

Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, University of Southern California
Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University
Fulbright-Hays Grant, Hochschule für Musik, Munich, Germany
Western Seminary theological studies, Portland, Oregon
Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland, Oregon
Royal Conservatory of Music, completion of teaching pedagogy course

Teaching Philosophy

My primary goal is to teach students to love classical piano music, as they grasp the expressive beauty, structure, and mystery of this great art.  To accomplish this, I must show them how much I love classical piano music, even if that involves my own clapping or singing or jumping up in excitement.  Participating in excellent music should be fun and freeing, and this idea is mostly caught, not taught.

I also wish to communicate a variety of the components that make up pianistic artistry.  These include technical proficiency, range of expression, ability to listen well, theory, musical imagination, sight reading, and exposure to non-solo piano music.  In achieving these things, I hope to find the right balance between freedom and discipline, since most great music is a wonderful combination of both.

Finally, I will seek to adapt to each student’s unique personality and talents, so that when the student spends time at the piano (including disciplined practicing!) he or she will learn to understand the music both mentally and emotionally.  I myself was blessed with teachers who were patient, inspiring, and challenging. It is my fervent hope that I can emulate these wonderful instructors in my own teaching.

To see a fuller description of Jim’s teaching philosophy, please click here


James Lucas was selected as Outstanding Keyboard Student while earning his Bachelor’s degree (1979) at the University of Southern California.  He went on to receive his Master’s Degree in orchestral conducting at the Peabody Conservatory while serving as principle opera coach and chorus master.  Jim then received a full scholarship to the Aspen Music Festival Advanced Conducting Program, after which he studied conducting on a Fulbright grant in Munich (1981-1983) and had the honor of competing in the Karajan International Conducting Competition.  He also taught private piano lessons at a German boarding school (grades 5-12). Back in the United States, Jim taught college music classes at UC Davis, gave private piano lessons, and conducted community orchestras for eight years. Jim also studied theology for three years and practiced law for 16 years.  Even then, Jim managed to play for a summer chamber music conference in Oregon (2000-2012), perform with the Columbia Gorge Chamber Players (2007 and 2009), and serve as President of the San Antonio International Piano Competition (2010-2016).