Andy Armer is a pianist, composer, music educator and music producer. He was born and raised in Los Angeles CA by parents who were musicians and educators themselves. He was nominated for a Grammy award in 1980 for his composition and worldwide #1 hit single "Rise" as performed by Herb Alpert. He has lived in Bend OR since 1995.
Andy has been creating music and sound design for the TV, film, and video game industries since 1985. He continues his music practice and production studio and is always working on expanding and perfecting his solo piano repertoire. Andy is currently 'working up' the 12 movement piece "Iberia" by Issac Albeníz.
Andy found a passion in teaching music to his students, always tweaking his method to simplify what can be a very technical course of study with the goal being to get students to discover the language of music by unlocking its inner-workings, and to experience the joy that comes with students’ accomplishments. Andy is able to help beginner students develop a joy and motivation for playing, along with helping intermediate and advanced students overcome challenges in their playing to allow for growth in performance capabilities.
A true jazz pianist at heart, he is fluent in all styles of music - rock, blues, classical, jazz and popular standards - as well as 'ragtime', ‘boogie', 'stride' and ‘bebop’ piano jazz styles. Andy looks forward to experiencing the joys of music with you!
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!
Seth has been playing guitar for 30 years, and teaching for 25. While growing up in Breckenridge, Colorado, Seth was inspired to pick up the guitar by listening to instrumental rock virtuosos like Steve Vai and Joe Satriani. At the recommendation of is high school band director, Seth attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, he was taught by Bruce Bartlett, Kevin Barry, Tomo Fujita, and Pat Pattison, among many others. After graduating Summa Cum Laude, Seth lived in Nashville for several years, playing guitar, producing demo recordings, and working in Final Assembly at the Gibson Custom Shop. Since moving to Central Oregon in 2013, he has played in several local groups, and has played in a handful of musical theater productions, including Avenue Q, Evil Dead the Musical, RENT, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Seth is always striving to learn new things about music and how it applies to the guitar. His lessons emphasize the development of the student's ear, the cultivation of their innate creativity, and guiding them to the tools and strategies they need to become great musicians, not merely great guitar players.
Needless to say, John Graham is a specialist in the theory, performance, and physical logistics of guitar and many other stringed instruments. With a classically trained pianist, oboist, and massive Queen fan as a mother, John grew up constantly exposed to her live performances and the beauty of musical appreciation.
At the age of 11, after a very special Christmas present, the guitar had taken a hold of him, and by 16 he was already performing his first paid shows in the local New Jersey music scene. When he was out of high school he and an alumni for the Long Valley School of Rock, an after school program for contemporary music, John already held two certifications from the Berklee College of Music, and had graduated with an honors in Music Theory and Band Orchestra.
After graduation John became enrolled in the John J Cali School of Music in Montclair State University. There he studied Music Therapy and Jazz Guitar, as well as Psychology. While being well versed in theory and performance and after leaving MSU, he moved to Canada to become schooled and certified as a Luthier, studying at the Summit School of Guitar and Repair in British Columbia.
No matter where John has lived or studied one thing that has never changed is his passion to perform. He has played in more Bands than he can count, as well as hosted and performed in his own open mic’s. Always encouraging people to play, John strives to create and cultivate the same outlets that were gifted to him through playing and appreciating music.
“It is of my best and most personal intention to pass on and pay forward my knowledge and experience to my students. By doing so, I wish to share the opportunities for people to grow and achieve their personal goals, achievements, and aspirations in musicianship and guitar-works.”
- Violin / Fiddle / Viola / Cello
Amber began her music education at the age of eight in Ohio, when her parents surprised her with a new piano. Before they could even save their money to begin lessons, Amber had worked out all of the major and minor scales on her own, as well as creating her first violin by holding a toy guitar on her left shoulder. After enrolling in both piano and viola lessons Amber pursued a classical music education, in high school having the privilege of performing under the tutelage of renowned Boston Pops Orchestra conductor Keith Lockhart. Amber graduated from Ohio State University School of Music, where she studied viola with Emeritus Professor and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra performer Edward Adelson, as well as working with Robert Gillespie, director of one of the most extensive string pedagogy programs in the nation. After graduation, Amber expanded her musical repertoire to include violin and fiddle, performing in various folk and rock ensembles in Columbus, Ohio and later, in Portland Oregon. Here in Central Oregon, she currently performs violin, viola, ukulele, and vocals with singer/songwriter Beth Waters. Amber has been teaching piano, violin, and viola since 1995 and has been a full-time career music teacher in classroom, ensemble, and private instruction for 13 years. She prides herself on her commitment to developing confidence in young people, understanding music education to be much more than teaching a particular skill. To Amber, teaching a person how to create music opens up a whole world of expression, creativity, and self-esteem that can aid in all aspects of life. She considers each student as a unique individual, with his or her own strengths, interests, experiences, and attitudes. And it is her personal goal to work with each student to help them achieve their personal best every day!
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. For those students looking to approach music from a songwriting perspective, Andy is able to combine vocal coaching with other instrument instruction. He was taught voice by Don Hoxie, who studied under the same instructor for Ann Wilson of the iconic rock band Heart.
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!
Susan is a native Oregonian growing up in Keizer, near Salem. She began singing and playing the piano at a very young age, and participated in school and church choirs, competing ensembles and soloing, pageant contestant, featured soloist and acting in drama/musical productions. She went on to study music education in college. While attending college and after graduation she was a musician for hire performing at various events and a choral director at a local church. Susan has over 30 years of experience in music education, and directing choral and drama productions in schools, colleges and churches to all ages across the country. She has taught private voice and piano lessons since 1990, operating a piano lesson school with an average of 45 students, ages 3-70 in Oregon, Washington, California, Pennsylvania and Missouri. She loves playing and teaching improvisation because of the freedom to create and play more decorative in style. She has developed her own curriculum for teaching the chord and improv method. Her philosophy of teaching piano is to establish a solid musical foundation, but to also allow students to be creative and make their own music. Susan communicates the musical concepts in an easy relaxed and fun way. “I have found that if a student, no matter what age, can play the songs they love, see progress and be creative in the process, they will be more motivated to learn and develop their skills and play for a life time”.
Susan and her husband Dwight are empty nesters and recently moved to Sisters to be near their project of restoring the historic CCC built Santiam Pass Ski Lodge on Santiam Pass. They have three grown sons, two married, and the youngest away at college.
- Violin / Fiddle / Viola / Cello
- Mandolin / Banjo
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!