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James Plattes Violin Students

Students of James and Deborah Plattes
November, 2005 recital


I have been teaching since 1972 and specialize in teaching beginning, intermediate and advanced players on violin, fiddle, mandolin and harmonica. I teach at the Minnesota Valley School of Music and Homestead Pickin’ Parlor, both located in Richfield, MN. I also teach in my home studio. Please contact me with any inquires about music lessons. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have...

- James Plattes
Ph: (612) 861-2954
email: james@wildgypsy.com

Teaching experience

  • 1972 - 1974 Violin at Bud's Music, Hopkins, MN.
  • 1974 - 1976 Violin lessons at Schmidt Music, Robbinsdale, MN.
  • 1976 - 1983 Violin and fiddle at West Bank School of Music, Minneapolis.
  • 1986 - 1990 Violin and fiddle at West Bank School of Music, Mpls, MN.
  • Directed student ensembles performing blues and popular music.
    1991 Open U. Implemented and taught course in songwriting.
  • 1998 - present Traditional and Suzuki private violin lessons at The Minnesota Valley School of Music, Richfield, MN. Also teaching fiddle and mandolin. Leading Suzuki Group violin classes and fiddle ensemble group classes.
  • 2003 - Present Fiddle, harmonica and mandolin instructor at Homestead Pickin' Parlor, Richfield, MN.


  • 1990 - 1991 University of Minnesota, Mpls, MN. Suzuki violin pedagogy. Mark Bjork instructor. Certified for books 1 through 4.
  • 1986 UCLA Music composition. Burt Goldstein instructor.
  • 1979 - 1980 Private instruction: Jazz improvisation with Eddie Berger, Mpls, MN.
  • 1972 - 1974 Minneapolis Community College, Mpls, MN. Courses completed: history of classical music, history of jazz, introductory piano, voice, classical violin.
  • 1973 - 1976 Private classical violin instruction with Richard Adams, Asst.
    Concertmaster MN Orchestra.
  • 1995 Master class with Vassar Clements.
  • 1959 Commence violin studies.

Twin Cities' Theatre experience

  • 2002 Played fiddle, mandolin and harmonica in the Old Log Theatre production "Cotton Patch Gospel".
  • 1999 Fiddler and guitarist in the Ordway production of "Always Patsy Cline".
  • 1986 Guthrie Theatre production of "Leon, Lena (and Lenz). Played fiddle and mandolin.
  • 1975 Fiddler in The Minneapolis Children's Theatre production of "Tom Sawyer."

Professional Experience

  • 1986 - Present Director and CEO of Violin-A-Gram, a romantic musical telegram service.
  • 1986 - Present Violinist, mandolinist, harmonica player & Director of Larkspur Strings.
  • 1983 - 1986 performing multi-instrumentalist and studio recording artist in Los Angles, CA.
  • 1982 Violin, guitar, mandolin and vocalist with RCA recording artists The Daisy Dillman Band.
  • 1975 Nationwide tour with Olivia Newton-John. Performance on "The Midnight Special."
  • 1973 - 1983 Extensive nightclub and studio recording work in Minneapolis/St Paul area.

Published Articles

  • 1995 Inside Bluegrass: "Master class with Vassar Clements" & "Buying a Bluegrass Mandolin."
  • 1991 Strings Magazine: Interview and transcription of original violin
    piece titled "Praveena."
  • 1990 Strings Magazine: "The strolling Violinist."
  • 1987 Frets Magazine: "Start writing your own tunes: Seven steps to success."


  • Winner, West Bank School of Music Jazz Composer Series 1989.
  • Winner, Intermedia Arts Sound Images showcase competition (Amazonian Dreamscapes) 1990.
  • MN Music Academy Award 1988.
  • Original Music Recordings
  • The Gypsy Fiddle Player 1980. Received airplay on WCCO, KFAI, KTCZ @ KTWN in Mpls, MN.
  • First Ray of Sunlight 1997.


  • Twin Cities Musician's Union American Federation of Musicians Local #30-73.
  • Minnesota Valley School of Music.

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© - James Plattes Music • Tel: 612.861.2954 • Email: james@wildgypsy.com