Jim Robertson: Banjo, Mandolin, Dulcimer, Dobro, Fiddle, Ukulele, Harmonica, Bagpipes, Beginning Violin/Cello & more!- Jim started playing guitar during the folk music boom of the 60’s. Prior to that, his parents gave him a Hohner Marine Band harmonica. Around age 16 he took up guitar and learned to play the folk songs that were popular then. After that came the 5-string banjo, followed soon after by the fiddle and mandolin.
Jim has never stopped playing. He has played in classic country, bluegrass, old time, jug band, jazz, and rock bands. In 2010, he started studying Northern Indian classical music and was honored to be the first person of European ancestry to be awarded the Dr. Laxmikant Doshi Award for excellence as a student.
He has been teaching music since 1975 and has taught privately, at festival workshops, and has presented guest lecture/demonstrations at UNC Greensboro and Longwood University on the subject of Hindustani music.
He currently performs 18th and 19th century American music at Point of Honor, Poplar Forest, and the Old City Cemetery during their October Candlelight Tours. He is in several musical groups playing a wide variety of genres ranging from Scottish/Irish traditional music to Western Swing, to psychobilly electro punk bluegrass, to progressive jazz. He hosts two weekly local Irish sessions, Tuesdays in Amherst and Thursdays at Dish in Lynchburg. He has also played with several local theater troops including Endstation, Wolfbane Production, and Alluvion Stage Company.
Among the instruments he plays are guitar, lap steel guitar, bass guitar, double bass, 5-string and tenor banjos, ukulele, fiddle, mandolin family, Irish bouzouki, cittern, Nyckelharpa, harmonica, button accordion, Anglo concertina, flute, whistles, and bagpipes.
Teaching Philosophy:Everyone has music inside. My job and passion is to help bring that music to the surface. While not everyone has a want or a need to play in front of others, I always try to direct students in that direction. However, I would never force a student to perform against their will. Music is one of the best ways to learn mental focus and escape the pressures of life. It is also a great way to learn organization and patience. Anyone who wishes to play an instrument should do so, but should be prepared to enjoy the process of learning and always strive to improve the product. Regular practice is the key to success. Sadly, there are no shortcuts. With my experience as a teacher I can help students to find the direction to musical satisfaction that works best for each individual.