SEATTLE -- From his Crown Hill living room, Simon James, Second Assistant Concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony is teaching music and life's lessons.
"These are incredibly gifted young people," he said of his students, who range in age from 7 to 18. "What they lack is experience. And what we have to do is nurture the way they think."
Nine-year-old Sophie Lee is typical of James' students. She aspires to be like her favorite violinist, Sarah Chang, and says her pre-concert jitters disappear when it's time to perform.
"Also when I perform I get to wear pretty dresses, so that's kind of fun," she said.
Fourteen-year-old Evan Hjort wows the crowds with "Hot Canary" and says playing for a symphony orchestra would be a great experience.
"Or solo," he said. "That, obviously, would be awesome."
James suggests, asks, even cajoles emotion and technique out of his students. He never has to remind them to practice.
"They are winning competitions around the country. They are getting into the best schools. I don't think there are too many whose parents have to tell them to practice. These kids are self motivated," said James.
There is a mantra at James' studio: Decide, commit, succeed and repeat.
"You should always set high standards for your practice or you're wasting time," he said.