Monday, December 5, 2016

Little Silver's School of Music and Drama

School of Music and Drama, Little Silver
Jim Josselyn

A few months ago, I was talking to our good friend Colton Kayser, who put out Place to Settle in 2016, at Wonder Bar. The conversation made its way around to the fact that he's an instructor at the School of Music and Drama, a business which sits just around the corner from CDMHQ. The school also happens to be owned by Jim Josselyn who I've known for over a decade. The series of connections and coincidences piqued my interest, and I figured it would be fun to profile Jim and his business.

Hey, Colton!
When CoolDaughter #1 was about 3 years old, we sent her to the local dance studio for lessons. It was there that she met Jim's own daughter. Dancing turned to swimming, and our kids and our families have been friends ever since. For a time, CD1 even took guitar lessons at Jim's previous location in Fair Haven. I guess she wasn't ready at the age of about 7 to start pursuing music, and her interests eventually turned to other things. I still wonder if something will steer her towards music again at some point. A recent lunch with Jim Josselyn gave me hope that it's still possible.

We talked a bit about how Jim's love for music developed. At 7, he started with piano lessons. Like CD1, he gave it up. A few years later, on a family trip to Mexico, he picked up his first guitar. Guitar lessons culminated in "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and then -- as an 11-year-old -- he heard Jimi Hendrix. It changed his world.

Jim Josselyn
From there, Jim wanted to become the fastest, most accomplished guitar player he could and practiced relentlessly. His interests eventually expanded beyond technical precision and rock to jazz and other styles. It got to the point that he pursued music formally, earning a masters degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music and studying with the likes of Pat Martino, Steve Khan, Rodney Jones, and more.

Since then, Jim's compositions -- ranging in style from rock to blues to RnB to Brazilian to jazz -- have appeared in over 40 television shows for outlets like Discovery Channel, TLC, PBS, VH1, and MTV, in independent films, and in commercials. He's performed at Lincoln Center with Jimmy Heath and Wynton Marsalis. He's run his music school -- where they give lessons on all instruments as well as acting classes for all ages -- for 14 years, the last 2 right here in CDM's hometown. He's trained Charlie Puth, Phoebe Ryan, and -- yes -- Colton Kayser.

He worked with former student, Sophia Maita, to record one of his most recent efforts, "Natural Born Killer."

And this is the kind of thing that I hope happens for the cooldaughters. I don't necessarily care if they open a music school or even if they compose their own music and license it all over. But I would love to see something inspire them to pursue an interest, even if it's just for themselves, as passionately as Jim has over the years. In speaking with Jim, it seems pretty clear that he wants that for all of his students and does his best to lead them to that inspiration.

An evening at the School of Music and Drama
You can check out The School of Music and Drama at their website or for more about Jim visit The school is located at 10 Fairview Avenue in Little Silver, and you can call 732-219-1850 for more information.

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