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James Seaba- Guitar, Bass, Ukulele, Piano, and Drums

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My name is James Ryan Seaba, and I am a music educator, vocalist, and professional multi-instrumentalist from Tiffin. I play guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, drums, ocarina, and didgeridoo with over 20 years experience in most of them. I have also published several albums of original compositions. Music has been my lifelong passion. I live in a house of educators; my wife is the art teacher at Amana Elementary, and in addition to being a music educator I also homeschool my 6-year old daughter Lorraine. I have taught professionally since I was 18, offering lessons in guitar, drums, voice, piano, ukulele, and composition/theory in a studio setting, virtually, and privately from my home. I was the first teacher hired by All Music All Art in Iowa City, specializing in guitar and piano there for over 5 years. I specialize in rock and metal music, but I am happy to teach nearly any style or genre to anyone. In addition to teaching, I also love performing live music! I have been involved in several bands, jams, and theatrical performances in the Corridor area throughout my career.

Teaching Philosophy

“No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music.”

- Billie Holiday


My passion in life is spreading the joy of making music, and my philosophy is based upon the power of an authentic, individualized learning experience which focuses on the unique needs and goals of each student. No two people are the same, so why should they have the same approach to learning an instrument?


I know firsthand about the power of an individualized learning experience which limits our ability to utilize traditional learning methods, as I grew up with a rare genetic condition which limited my ability to move my eyes horizontally. It wasn’t always easy, but with the help of some truly amazing teachers I was able to find strategies that worked for me to be able to make the music I wanted to make. It is now my goal to pass these lessons on to anyone who wants to make music—regardless of their abilities or limitations—to motivate and inspire others to find the joy in making music, and to help them find out what works best for them and what helps them to achieve their own musical goals.

In providing the most authentic experience to my students, I do not utilize scripted learning. Instead, my students receive an individualized learning plan based upon their own musical goals and preferred learning methods.


I also believe in the importance of developing a relationship with my students. Making music is a form of emotional expression capable of providing us with a great deal of joy and happiness, so it is always my goal to provide a safe, joyful learning environment for my students where that expression can be practiced.

And although I may not be with students through their entire musical journey, I always emphasize that we never stop learning. Even myself as an educator. Goals are incredibly valuable in our learning path, but there is always something more to learn which will enhance our own abilities as well as our appreciation of music in general.

From a technical standpoint, I believe that these goals build upon themselves and create our foundational understanding of music. If our tower of knowledge grows too tall without a solid foundation, we may reach a point where we find it difficult to grow any further. That is why it is so important to find the best way for each student to learn the foundational concepts of their instrument from the start, so that they can build their tower as high as they wish.

Helping students to build their towers from a solid foundation also means that it is my job as an educator to help them remove any obstacles in their way. A common obstacle is the inaccessible or intimidating language which people traditionally use in talking about music theory. I believe that music making ought to be as accessible and inclusive as possible, where students are given a practical understanding of these theoretical concepts in language they can understand. My goal is to give students the knowledge and confidence to be able to reiterate and demonstrate their knowledge of these concepts in their own language, while still learning the terminology so that they are able to excel in any musical setting.


To inquire about lesson rates and lesson availably click the contact me button!

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