Ukulele, although popular for all ages, is a great beginner option for younger kids who may aspire to play guitar when they are older. The small body with only 4 softer nylon strings make it a bit easier for youngsters to wrap their hands around some chords and build confidence in an instrument. It also accompanies beginning piano or keyboard very well, as the open strings are based on the key of C.
Amanda has recently moved back to Bend where she grew up. At the age of nine, music started to become a major staple in Amanda’s life. She took a strong interest in guitar, being shaped from musical influences such as Fleetwood Mac, Alanis Morrisette, Counting Crows, and Johnny Cash. Amanda then expanded her string family, adding violin/fiddle and ukulele at an early age. Recently in the last year she has also been studying piano.
Amanda loves writing and recording her own music, working with various genres such as Folk/rock/pop/indie/country/alternative and various Spanish style guitar. Sharing her love for music is one of Amanda’s absolute passions, being grateful to have had the opportunity to teach others over the past 6 years locally and internationally. The last two years she has been living and teaching music in Chiangmai (Thailand), Perth (Australia), and different areas in England offering guitar, ukulele, and vocal lessons, sharing in volunteer work as well. She loves traveling, exploring the outdoors, hiking the beautiful mountains Oregon has to offer, spending her winters at the mountain snowboarding, and enjoying the amazing summers in Bend! Amanda enjoys adapting her music lessons to the style and genre of music her students love and enjoy learning. In turn, she wants to help people find a love and joy for music, just as she does!
Katie "Pinto" LeBrun
Katie grew up in a very musical little area of Wisconsin, and has been surrounded by musicians her entire life. Her father (a drummer) would bring her along to gigs, put her on stage next to him, and hand her a tambourine. Katie would also sit next to her mother and learn to sing harmonies in church choir. by the time she was in elementary school, her parents started her in piano lessons, with guitar and voice lessons developing by the time she was in high school. Katie grew into quite the multi-instrumentalist, playing accordion, keys, and percussion in local orchestra pits, while also directing the Chippewa Valley Boys Choir. Naturally during college, she pursued Music Education and Performance. In the end, Katie finished her undergraduate degree in Music Liberal Arts (piano and voice) along with fine arts management, later going back to complete her Masters in Business. Some of her accomplishments included assistant teaching for a middle school band in Washington D.C., presenting at the National Opera Association Convention in Los Angeles, appearing as an artist in residence for high school choirs in the Milwaukee suburbs, teaching lessons locally, and directing a church choir in her home town.
Post-college, Katie moved to Boston where she developed her love of teaching in other disciplines, completing certifications for Yoga and Hula Hoop Instruction. She developed these programs into her own company, “Pinto Bella Movement Arts,” and started traveling the country. For almost three years (and over 100,000 miles) she drove around the United States presenting at libraries, schools, studios and other community organizations. On the road, she found inspiration to begin writing music again. She learned many new instruments, making ukulele and hang drum two of her main instruments for writing music and performing. She joined a small rock band for a couple tours, replacing their lead guitarist with her voice and ukulele. Katie then started doing daytime performances at nursing homes, sharing her original music and old classics with the residents.
In October of 2016, her travels then lead to Oregon, and she fell in love with Bend. She decided it was time to create a home base and return her focus to the music that has always been at the heart of her journey. When she returned from a tour in Georgia/Florida in January 2017, she unpacked the suitcases and started calling Bend her home.
Katie believes that learning should be a side effect of having fun, wanting to help others find the same joy and freedom from music that she has been blessed with during her life. Let’s make some noise!
Sam Taylor is certainly one of the most versatile and multi-talented musicians residing in Central Oregon. Sam grew up in a musical family, where piano was the featured instrument in the household, along with having a very accomplished pianist for a mother. He and his siblings all formed a basis for music around the piano, gradually adding other instruments into the mix together. His family had soon realized that Sam had special talent in his fingers, and at the age of 9 he was set up with private violin lessons and hasn’t turned back since. Sam studied violin and viola primarily throughout high school, and was selected for a music scholarship to the University of Montana, while also completing studies across Europe. Before college as well, Sam had picked up the guitar and was later selected to a master program at the university, taught by none other than the great classical guitarist, Christopher Parkening. Throughout his studies and performing in his younger years, Sam had picked up a variety of stringed instruments, also including cello, mandolin, ukulele, banjo, and bass guitar (including stand-up bass).
A few of Sam’s many accomplishments include having years in the Central Oregon Symphony as 1st Violinist, Concertmaster of the student orchestra at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, and conducting the Steckborn Civic Orchestra in Switzerland. Throughout his life, Sam has felt a calling to pass along his musical knowledge and experience to new generations of music, and has gathered 30+ years experience in teaching private lessons. Sam currently resides in Bend, and aside from teaching he is the Conductor of the Community Orchestra of Central Oregon. He looks forward to continuing to share his passion for music with the community!
Born in Bend during the early 80’s, Andy developed an intense passion for music at an early age. His parents exposed him to the oldies they grew up with, ranging from Elvis and Buddy Holly to Motown and The Beatles. In 1994, while Andy was in 8th grade, a Jimi Hendrix cover band played at his school and blew his adolescent mind. At that moment, he decided to use the money he earned delivering the local newspaper on his bike to purchase his first electric guitar. Immediately, he began to learn the instrument on his own by playing along with his favorite albums of the early 90’s. It wasn’t long before he was playing in bands and gigging out regularly. Andy has played in countless bands around town over the last two decades. ‘Goodbye Dyna’ is Andy’s solo project that has released a few albums in which he writes and plays everything on them. Andy is also an accomplished drummer and can be found playing in the local desert-metal band ‘Drunk Pilot’. He is also currently playing guitar and singing for reggae tribute band, ‘Subliminal’. Andy has been teaching private lessons for 10 years now and has also taught the ‘School of Rock’ class at Cascade School of Music. He is also well-versed in vocal training and can offer this service as well to aspiring performers.