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Pianist Marks 25 Years of Teaching at Longacre House

Farmington resident enjoys teaching the instrument he loves.

James Nuckolls thinks the piano is an amazing instrument.

“It’s a complete musical repertoire of treble and bass clef,” he said. “I can play alone anytime, or in an ensemble. Most other instruments need piano to accompany them.”

Nuckolls enjoys piano so much, he made it his career. He plays professionally for events and special engagements, and has been teaching piano at in Farmington Hills for 25 years with the .

While obtaining a degree in piano from the Detroit Institute of Musical Art, a former affiliate of the University of Detroit, Nuckolls studied with concert pianist Harold De Remer and Dr. Henry Kolbe. 

As a professional pianist, he played at the Ponchartrain Hotel in Detroit and spent eight years at the Walnut Creek Country Club.

“I would play beautiful music in the background for dining,” Nuckolls said.

He has also played in the Montreux Jazz Festival as part of a six-piece ensemble, The Saunders Six, as well as other concerts in metro Detroit over the years. Locally, he’s performed at , , and, of course, The Longacre House.

Nuckolls’ wife, Susan, is also a professional pianist and singer.  They met in college and have an adult son who lives in South Carolina.

At The Longacre House, Nuckolls teaches piano students ranging from age eight to 80. 

“Teaching gives me a chance to share my knowledge with other people,” Nuckolls said. “I teach the whole way of playing—theory, music, and use of the hands.”

Nuckolls finds great satisfaction in teaching.

“It’s one thing to know something,” he said.  “It’s another to impart it to someone else.”

To inquire about piano lessons, contact the Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Division at 248-473-1859.

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