Master of Music (Künstlerische Ausbildung),
Hochschule für Kirchenmusik (Baden) Heidelberg, Germany

LTCL (Piano Performance),
Trinity College of London, UK

Diploma in Music (Performance),
Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore


James Yap graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) as the best graduate of the Music Diploma programme in 1991. He then earned a place, along with his three-year NAFA classmate and now wife, Alice, at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik (Baden) in Heidelberg, Germany, majoring in Piano and Song Accompaniment as well as Music Pedagogy for the Master of Music Degree. From 1992 to 1996, he was under the tutelage of Prof. Eugen Polus, Prof. Margret Bauer, Prof. Martin Smith and Prof. Hermann Schemmel. In 1994, he attained a LTCL Diploma in Piano Performance whilst on his study trip to London, and also completed a special course in Alexander Technique at the Landesmusikakademie Rheinland-Pfalz (Rheinzabern), Germany.

Since their return to Singapore in August 1996, James and Alice have been very active in promoting music activities for the young, such as the 22 Creative Music Workshops for Young Pianists held at NAFA (from 1996 to 1998) and at Practice Performing Arts School (2000). Together, they have been co-conducting other music workshops for children and music teachers alike in West Malaysia, from Johor Bahru to Alor Star. They have formed the MusiKinder Ensemble to perform at public venues such as the Esplanade, Alliance Française, Young Musicians’ Society (YMS), and in Kuala Lumpur and Penang with concert tours. In 2005, James was one of the founders of MusiKinder ArtSkool and was appointed Academic Director.

Since October 1996, James has been very active at NAFA, mentoring major-study piano students and conducting lectures on the core modules of Concert Practice I-III (1997-2004), Counterpoint III (1997-2006), Harmony I & II (2000-2008), Music Theory I & II (2008-2011) and Fundamentals in Musicianship I & II (2011-2014). He has also conducted the Access Theory (2003-2005) module for NAFA pre-diploma students. Currently, he conducts lectures on Aural & Practical Musicianship I & II (since 2011).