The Jim Howell Music Studio

The Jim Howell Music Studio

1 employee
21 years in business

About this pro

Jim Howell is a full-time musician in Tucson, Arizona. He teaches most days of the week and performs regularly playing drums with one of many bands around town or playing guitar and singing in his own original country/rock/soul band. Jim's specialty is performance and private lessons for drum set. However, Jim also teaches lessons for snare drum, school percussion, a variety of other percussion instruments, piano, guitar, bass and voice. He teaches small group classes focusing upon toddler music, preschool and early elementary music, hand drums and drum circles, studio recording techniques, pop/rock band group performance and recording.

While his main stylistic influence has been Rock, Jim has a deep knowledge and appreciation of all American music genres and their rich history tracing back to Blues/Jazz/Country etc... His drumming work has veered in to Country and Roots music for the last decade. Jim believes that a solid foundation in all American styles will give a musician the depth, versatility, and confidence to play even the most contemporary musical styles. (Translation: Every drummer should learn how to play a shuffle and every musician needs to know a 12 Bar Blues progression!)

Jim teaches all private lessons and small group classes from his custom built music studio. However since 2014 he has also implemented music education and therapy classes for children and adults with severe developmental disabilities at a private facility called Creative Care. He does that at their facilites every other week during the school year and every Thursday in the summers.  

Jim has organized, lead classes, and created the curriculum for rock band group camps for kids ages 8-18. He developed a Toddler Music program for children under age 3 and their caregiver which he has been instructing for six years now. in 2011 Jim conceived a preschool and early elementary class system called Music DRUMdamentals. This system focuses upon music concepts and movement applied to percussion and singing while providing lots of hands on (tactile) experiences and exploration of a variety of instruments on weekly rotations. During the 2014-2015 school year Jim taught his DRUMdamentals class as a Magnet elective class at Craigin Elementary School. (TUSD cut the funding for Cragin's Magnet programs in 2015/2016.)

From April of 2002 to August 2011, Jim was the principal drums and percussion instructor at all Beaver’s Band Box locations. (Unfortunately Beaver's has closed its doors permanently in 2011.) During the 2002-2003 Academic-year, Jim was the general music teacher for all grades (K-5) at Bloom Elementary (TUSD). Jim has regularly instructed group percussion and rhythmic notation theory clinics in coordination with band programs at local schools. 

Three time recipient of Best Drummer (Tucson Area Music Awards), Jim is an active performing and recording musician locally, nationally, and internationally. Currently, he leads his own original country band, The Jim Howell Band, in which he tackles lead vocals and guitar live. On the recently released debut, Silver Clouds, he played many of the instruments while engineering and producing the whole effort in his studio. Jim has been playing multi-instrumentalist (drums/keys/guitar/vocals/harmonica/percussion) with REY after producing their 2015 self-titled album in his studio.  Jim is a regular on drums with  Jay Faircloth & The Loners, local ska group, The Vexmen, and frequently subs on drums in Michael P. & The Gully Washers, The Mission Creeps. Jim also is a rotating staff musician at Desert Hills Lutheran Church, in Green Valley, as the drummer for their weekly Saturday afternoon Country Gospel worship services.

In the recent past, Jim performed extensively with Rich Hopkins and Luminarios. recording several studio releases a live DVD and touring in the US and Europe. He was a founding member of The Wyatts. (2006, 2007 and 2008 TAMMIES winners for Best Band. Jim’s drumming is featured on the upcoming studio release Giddy Up and Go!  
Jim also freelances with a diverse collection groups about town and 

Music has been my passion since I was a very small child. I have pursued my interest in musical expression and thirst for learning on various instruments throughout the years. Over the years I have logged thousands of hours of practicing and performing on many different instruments from cello to piano, voice, guitar, drums, bass guitar, and hand percussion.

Fifteen years ago I was offered two different paid positions to teach music. While embarking upon those I really developed a love of sharing my own enthusiasm and knowledge of music with others. I have lead many group classes and classroom sessions and thousands of private lessons over the last 15 years. It never gets old and continues to challenge me and provide ways that I can also learn in the process. Music is a lifetime journey of learning, even for the professional! 

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Tucson, AZ 85716
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The first step is to sit down and enagage with a student and/or parent in a conversation about the specific musical goals and previos experience of that student. Then we chart a course for where to begina nd make some short term and longer term goals. I use a variety of books depending up the leve and instrument chosen. So we figure that out pretty quickly in the process as well.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Many hours of learning, practicing and performing music on many instruments. I have taken thousands of lessons myself and completed many college courses and master classes and clinics on various musical topics. Thousands of live performances on various instruments. Also, I have been teaching for nearly 17 years. I currently teach private lesson six-days-a-week, guitar classes at two schools, and music therapy/activity time at Creative Care Center of Tucson.  

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

$30 per 30 minute weekly lesson. $50 per one hour weekly lesson. Lessons are prepaid monthly by cash, check or online CC payment on my website.

How did you get started teaching?

I was offered a drum lesson position at a local retail music instrument store because the manager of the store had seen me perform on drums and in talking to me over some time thought I would have a great reporre with students and parents and be able to share my skill and develop a solid lesson practice within the retail store that he managed.

At the same time I was contacted by a principal at a local elementary school who had heard from my nephew and his parent that I might be able to teach music. She was looking for a general music teacher for her K-5 school. I interviewed and was hired on the spot to develop a music program at Bloom Elementary, (within the TUSD school district).

What types of students have you worked with?

Children from toddlers to teens and adults from college age through retirees! I have also work extensively with kids and adult of differing abilities and regularly do classes and sing-along sessions with kids and adult with moderate to severe developmental disorders such as autism, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, etc.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I performed out on the street for a voter registration event playing guitar, harmonica, a tamborine on my left foot and a bass drum with my right foot. All the while I was accompanied by my own two kids who traded off playing snare drum and a cymbal. They both study various instruments with me and it was super fun to perform in public with them  It made me proud as both a dad and a teacher to see how well they played and how people reacted to thier excellence but also to interact with them on a musical level.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Find someone who you connect and engage with personally. You will learn more in a welcoming and friendly environment.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Why do you want to play the (insert various instrument here)?

Knowing the root movitations for playing your chosen instrument(s) will help you develop more time in you life to practice that instrument and encourage you to keep going even when things seem tough or frustrating. Remebering why you love it can help you push past that difficult spot and grow as a musician and person.