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Hello! I’m James

A little about me… my name is James Ong. I am a piano teacher offering private, one-on-one, lessons to those young and young at heart – discover your inner rockstar.

Learning piano is a skills-based creative activity for personal growth and expression. The experience of learning is valued equally to the outcome of performance. Honest work on a daily basis will achieve the greatest level of enrichment – lifelong learning.

I support and motivate students to help them attain their music goals: from learning the fundamentals to fine-tuning the subtleties, from performing traditional styles to the most contemporary, from reading music notation to creative exploration and improvisation, and from the purely practical aspects to the theoretical substance behind it.

I use as many different pedagogical techniques and resources as there are different students i.e. preparing students for Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) examinations or teaching students to perform contemporary material in band or other small ensemble situations, using acoustic pianos or sound design programs on computers.

Character is the backbone of our human culture. Music is the flowering of character. Confucius, Chinese Philosopher.

Teaching Experience
I have been teaching privately since 1988. During this time, I have also taught at the Ailanthus School of Performing Arts as their Associate Music Director and at the Prussin School of Music as their Piano/Keyboard Instructor. In 1994, I received my Diploma in Music from Vancouver Community College (VCC) having studied with concert pianist, Margot Ehling; world renowned composers, David Gordon Duke and Peter Hannan; and international recording artists, Kathy Kidd and Sal Ferreras. I have also received music scholarships from the VCC Music Department and the Community Arts Council of Richmond.

Performing Experience
Since joining the Vancouver band Spygirl in 1996, my performance and recording highlights have expanded to include a performance at the CBC recorded “Poor Boy: A Nick Drake Tribute” in 1999, the release of a self-titled debut album and outdoor concert for more than 5,000 attendees at the Annual Vancouver International Jazz Festival both in 2000, appearance on CBC’s North by Northwest Spygirl Spotlight in 2001, a UK tour in 2002, the release of a 5-song ep in 2005, the release of Pieces of Evidence produced and mixed by Tom Rothrock (Beck, Elliot Smith, Elbow, James Blunt, Sloan), a cross Canada and New York tour in 2008, a West Coast tour in 2009, and various private engagements in 2010/2011.

I have a passion for music and teaching that I share with all my students.



Vancouver Community College

Classical Piano

Simon Fraser University


Royal Conservatory of Music