James Lawless holds an ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance from The Royal Conservatory of Music and a Licentiate Diploma from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. Mr. Lawless studied piano with Earle Moss and Pierre Souvairan, theory with George Coutts and Dr F.J. Horwood, and vocal and instrumental accompanying with John Coveart, Askel Schlotz and Kathleen Parlow. .He was a music instructor at St. Michael's Choir School and has been a faculty member of The Royal Conservatory of Music since 1964 where he teaches in both the Community School and the Glenn Gould School. He is a former Branch Administrator for the Royal Conservatory of Music, was Academic Advisor to the Royal Conservatory of Music Affiliate Teacher Network, and a member of the RCM Faculty Association and Academic Council. From 1992 to 1998 he served as Chief Examiner for RCM Examinations. He has also been involved with music programs for handicapped children and adults, and has held positions as a church organist and choir director.
James Lawless has travelled widely throughout Canada and the United States as adjudicator and workshop clinician, and has served on the executive of the Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators' Association. He has also attended numerous Music Teachers' National Association conventions in the United States as a guest lecturer. Mr. Lawless is also an author of a number of music theory publications used extensively by teachers in Canada and abroad.