In association with
Mr James Cullen - Viola and Violin
Mr James Cullen - Viola and Violin

I started playing the violin when I was five and at the age of fourteen I successfully auditioned at the Junior Royal Academy of Music where I studied violin under the guidance of Ben Wragg and later Rafael Todes (Allegri Quartet)

Rafael successfully tutored me through my auditions to being offered a scholarship at Trinity Laban Conservatoire to study violin under Rivka Golani.

Rivka originally played the violin but her international fame and the instrument she principally teaches is the viola so it was not surprising that I chose to study viola, hence I can teach both instruments

Later I studied with Emmanuella Reiter at Trinity who previously served as teaching assistant to Kim Kashkashian in the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and founded the highly successful Jigsaw Players.
Instruments: Violin
Music Theory
Genre/Style(s): Classical
Ability Levels: Beginners to Advanced
Memberships: (verified) Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)


Teaching Area

I am based in East Finchley, a short distance away from East Finchley underground station (Northern line).

I travel to students living in the area and to those relatively close to stations along the Northern Line down to Camden Town and up to Hampstead.


I’m happy to teach all ages and abilities in a hopefully enjoyable and relaxed manner.

I teach both viola and violin from beginners to advanced.

Perhaps you have played the violin or viola before and require a few lessons to decide if you want to take up the instrument again.

If you have a specific project such as a music practical exam, entrance exam or competition, I can help with this as well.

For those wishing to take exams, my philosophy is to use them as an aid to my teaching, and most importantly, to give students a sense of achievement. Ideally they should be entered into exams when they are at a playing level where they should be awarded a merit or distinction.

I see no value to a student entering an exam prematurely and "scraping" a pass, especially when there are normally a number of sittings per year to choose from.

Particularly with children and young adults, success in a music exam and the self-esteem that flows from good results can be the foundation of academic success in other subjects. It also can prepare students for auditions and entrance exams as well.

Considering Playing The Viola?

If you are considering playing the viola I can provide “taster” lessons. Most viola players start playing the violin and later convert to viola. This means that there are considerably more violin players than viola but there are significant numbers of viola plays that make up classical quartets, chamber groups and orchestras. As a result there may be better and more prominent opportunities converting to viola playing, at school, university and adult life. For those parents trying to get their children into schools where there is a strong music department, it might be worth while investigating if playing a the viola would be an asset both in terms of obtaining the place and possible bursaries.

Musical Development

I have completed a BMus with Honours degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in Greenwich, London.

DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB)

I am registered on the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly Criminal Records Bureau) national register and have an Enhanced Certificate working with children as private music teacher from Sept 2013.


£30 for 1/2 hour and £40 for 1 hour lessons. (Please note that my published rates are for teaching students who live close to underground stations Northern Line that I teach from).

[email protected]

07983 418222

Contact James

Address: Finchley

Phone: 07983 418222
Mobile: 07983 418222
Fee (30 minutes): £30.00
Fee (60 minutes): £40.00

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