James van der Heide


James van der HeidePiano, Theory
Hons.B.Mus. (Piano – in progress)

James van der Heide began studying piano at the age of 5 under the direction of Patti Schmidt.  He continued to take lessons from her until 2009, and graduated as an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music (A.R.C.T.) in 2010.  James also studied theory and history with David Cotterell, as well as violin with John Schnarr, and was part of a community orchestra for several years.  He participated in several choirs, played percussion and flute in bands, and starred in local productions of Les Misérables and High School Musical.

James is currently finishing up his Bachelor’s degree in Piano Theory at Wilfrid Laurier University, studying with Michael Esch and Anya Alexeyev.  He has also studied piano pedagogy, accompaniment, and various languages.  James is passionate about music in the community: he spent three years as a choral scholar in a Kitchener United church, participated in various community workshops, and provides music at his local synagogue.  He also spent four years singing with a chamber ensemble, The Laurier Singers, and participated in an a cappella ensemble at the University of Waterloo.

This summer, James was thrilled to be the music producer and co-director of Broadway Musical: the Broadway Musical, a full-length show which he co-wrote and co-orchestrated.  The cast and orchestra were all volunteers, and it was an wonderful opportunity to connect aspiring artists in high school with other members of their community including Laurier students and graduates.

James loves to provide comprehensive musicianship training for his students and encourages them to engage in improvisation and collaborative projects.  He has experience working with young children, and enjoys sharing music with people of all ages.