student testimonials

education you can trust!

Guitar Student 2011

"I don't know if I say this enough, but thank you. You are a remarkable and amazing person and you are the first person on my gratitude list every day. Thank you so much.


Rachel Thompson + Voted Best Teen Vocalist in the USA 2010

I just wanted to say thank you for all you have done for me and taught me over the years. I wouldn't be where I am today without you. I also wanted to thank you for all you have done for my family, it's meant the world to us. Thank you again and I hope all is well!


You taught Rachel how to sing and what an incredibly wonderful gift it has been! We will always be grateful to you! -Rachel's mom, Mindy Thompson





A.J. Vincent of The Bright Light Social Hour + Playing Austin City Limits Festival

"James Mays is a special sort of person. He has a unique teaching style, keen observational skills, and a way of adapting his teaching style to an individual's skill-set. In my case, James taught me how to sing, and I am very thankful for that. It's in the way he lets you grow with time that really helps, and he reassures you of your progress. A very encouraging and positive person... it was a pleasure to work with him."

Austin, TX.



Adam Salazar + Rally Rally

I’ve been taking voice lessons with James for a few months now, and have seen a huge improvement in all aspects of my vocal performance. And just in the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve really broken through and gotten to the point where I have actual control of my voice. Beyond the personal improvement I’ve seen, it’s also been a boost to my bands’ creativity in general. Now when we’re working on new tunes, I’m able to bring a better understanding of pitch and harmonies to the songwriting process.

I’m completely stoked about the progress I’ve made, and James’ expertise, individually tailored methods and personality has made it an easier (and more fun) process than I’d expected.



Residual Kid + The Kids Are Alright Fest 2011

On behalf of Residual Kid...

The Kids Are Alright Fest was a well-oiled machine of rock, skateboarding and gaming, with all of the moving parts flowing seamlessly throughout the day. Residual Kid is thrilled to have been a part of this incredible showcase, and we hope to be invited back again for the next great event, to see what James Mays and his team have in store for the world! Thanks for the opportunity!
Residual Kid

photo courtesy of Eric Graham


VIA + School Jam USA 2011

I just wanted to again extend a huge thank you to the both of you for all of your work in putting on SchoolJam USA, it was a massive
endeavor and you both handled it beautifully! It was an amazing experience for me and for my band, we learned so much, and are honored
to have placed third. Thanks!

Chase Kroesche from the band VIA

Salt Lake City, Utah


Dangerous Daze + School Jam USA 2011

The boys from Dangerous Daze (Matt, Nick, Conner, and Will), and all the parents thereof, would like to thank you for a wonderful experience and commend you on a JOB WELL DONE! The boys had the thrill of a lifetime. Thank you for your hospitality, patience, and professionalism. It was a fantastic event all around. Please accept our heartfelt appreciation. Please pass our thanks on to your wonderful staff as well.

Michael Gruver, parent of Dagerous Daze

Charlette, NC


Cat Green + Blue Kabuki

James' professionalism is incomparable. His knack for honing in on my specific needs proved refreshing and invaluable. I had no idea how much there was for me to learn and looking back I can see that I have grown musically, from my breath and pitch control to my presence playing live. As a performer, I know I'll continue to take the things James has taught me into the studio and on stage.



Dustin Belanger + Lead Guitarist AfterMath

Participating in SchoolJam USA was such a memorable experience. The whole process was a real adreneline rush. It was awesome getting to compete with all the other incredibly talented bands. Everyone we met was so supportive of each other no matter which band won. It was worth every bit of effort put into the different stages of SchoolJam to get to experience the feelings that I felt, including the outrageous trip to Germany. What a BLAST that was! Being a part of this was something that I will never forget. I will be proud to tell friends and family about it for the rest of my life.

As always, thanks for being the "magician" that put the band together and taught them HOW to be a band!" - Kay Belanger, Austin TX.





Livvy + Voted best teen bassist in America by School Jam USA JudgesLivvy + Voted best teen bassist in America by School Jam USA Judges 2010

"James Mays really helped me branch out musically. Before I started learning from James, I could barely play a few chords and now I know that this is what I want to do with my life. James talks to kids as equals unlike all the other teachers I've gone to.

Austin, TX.






"I always wanted to sing and play guitar, but I was worried I'd be awful. I've felt really comfortable with James - he is a great teacher. It's been 3 months and I can play and sing full songs - Priceless."

"I've had tough days going into voice/guitar lesson, but I always leave with a sense of victory. Very meditative and freeing."

Austin, TX.





Daniel + Isle of White

"James Mays makes lessons both enjoyable and educational. he gives examples that make your voice go to the next level, at whatever skill level you are at."

Austin, TX.







"James Mays is a great teacher, friend and all around hardcore dude. A great vibe."

Austin, TX.


In your lessons, you've given Hilary a safe place to be honest and to be herself and I know that means a lot to her. Hilary LOVES taking lessons from you and it has meant SO much to her.

Susan Feldencamp




Maura @ Mater Class

"When you are having trouble he knows what to say and how to say it. He knows exactly what's up with your voice. It's almost scary. Ha Ha."

Austin, TX.





Yvonne Beamon + Parent of Band Aid Student

"James has been the mentor, producer, teacher and best friend to my son’s band, AfterMath for the past six years. The kids have developed musically in directions we couldn’t have possibly dreamed of and it wouldn’t have been possible without the patience and wisdom of James. Kids and parents have no idea what it takes to not only come together musically, but to grow the relationships in a band to keep them together. James covers the full spectrum.”

Austin, TX.


julie Baker + Parent of a Music Production Student and Intern

"James, Once again, I just wanted to say thank you so much for taking Charlie with you to LA. He had the most wonderful time and without a doubt the most fabulous experience. Many thanks, Best wishes . Julie

Austin, TX.


Dance Over Anaheim + School Jam USA Finalist

"I wanted to extend our sincere thanks on behalf of all the Dance Over
Anaheim family, for the awesome experience you provided for our kids. Thanks for helping to make all the kids sound so great. The band could use your talents on an ongoing basis as I don't think they have ever sounded better. Superb! - Arthur W. Porter, Esq. - Parent

Colorado Springs, CO.




James really encouraged Ian as a guitarist and a good band member. He has a great rapport with young players and encourages them in all aspects of their performing experience. He gives the kids space to create and helps them achieve their vision. Tanya – musician & mom

Austin, TX.

There are gifted technicians, and then there are gifted teachers who are technically skilled. Fortunately for your students, you are the latter.
You have a passion for music, but also for fostering the aspirations of young artists. Thank you for the way that you have broadened not just our son's range of skills, but also his exposure to and understanding of the music business. You are so much more than a voice coach to him -- you are also a fan, a mentor, and a valuable contact.

With gratitude,
Doug Burns

"James has been giving my son voice lessons for just over a year now. He has a unique way of relating to people that creates a comfortable teaching atmosphere while he conveys his incredible vocal knowledge. Josh has learned to push his limits and has expanded his range tremendously. James has been a great role model and inspiration to him. I'm so grateful to have found such an incredibly talented vocal instructor."

Nina Mosier

I wanted to take just a moment to appreciate my thanks to your for including No Parachute Music in the MMF! Although there was plenty of hard work and trying times, everything seemed to work itself out as well as could be expected. It was a growing trip for many of us in No Parachute; our players & FRONTMEN had to step out of their normal roles and adapt, Sean gained an immeasurable amount of needed self-confidence after his experience at The Stage (and having to endure four take-off's and four landings!). For myself, I was glad to take on the additional work and enjoyed the job very much. I learned more about how I operate in given conditions and I too gained confidence from the scale of the event and the overall MMF experience, not to mention the satisfaction and pride to be an integral part of such a large and encompassing endeavor. It was a very productive trip for everyone involved and in addition to the industry experience, the wonderful people we met (MMF & other) made the week more fulfilling.

Andy Ellis, MMF Zone Manager


And our thanks to you James, and Randy and all the rest. Eanes Education Foundation is so pleased to be a part of Jam Fest and all that it does for student musicians and bands.

Wally Moore, Eanes Education Foundation


Hey Mr. Mays, I just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this year's SXSW. I had a great time working at Stubbs and helping deal with all of the craziness. It was an experience I'll never forget. Next time you find yourself in Miami, please feel free to get in touch with me and I'll buy you dinner.

Michael Pelleg
University of Miami, Frost School of Music
Music Business and Entertainment Industries


I want you to know how thankful I am for such a great opportunity and experience it has been working for you. I have learned so much and really appreciated how much you have valued my input over this past year. The experience has been invaluable to me - I feel that I have learned years worth of knowledge about the music industry just from working for you for 9 months, and I hope that my contributions have been beneficial to you as well.

Thanks again for everything. Based on how MMF, SchoolJam USA, and TKAA went, I know your festival in April will be awesome, and I hope the same for all of your future events!
Monica Lowe
The University of Texas, Austin, B.A. Music Business | B.A. American Studies