Teaching ukulele with Bend-La Pine School District for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years, Jeff builds on what the student is already doing well. A strong desire to develop rhythm, timing, technique and ensemble players, Jeff looks for that 'A-HAH!' moment when a student experiences an inspirational breakthrough. Drawing on a background as diverse as Central Oregon Symphony to Bend Ukulele Group (BUGs), Jeff has worked with bands including Anvil Blasters, The Reputations, Range Benders and Whiskey Jacks. As one of the original members of BUGs and the founder of High Country Ukulele Players (HICUPS) serving south Deschutes County, Jeff is clearly devoted to the people, players and the instrument. A Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), he possesses a keen sense of 'body language' and the ability to keep interactions positive. Membership in the local Toastmasters chapter has provided him with leadership proficiency and ways to achieve outcome-based objectives. Jeff has been playing for close to ten years with an impulse to learn, innovate, experiment and draw a variety of tones and percussive elements from this little gem of an instrument. From Hawaiian, folk, traditional and gospel styles, Jeff can get a group strumming and singing, in a way that makes people want to smile, dance and play! His background as a drummer and bassist support his strengths as a disciplined, rhythmic player. His focus as a teacher is more on whatever it takes to inspire the student, and bring smiles to their young faces. A bit of music theory is presented as your student grows in their learning, and begins to make sense of how that develops the brain - and the person - as they mature in their own unique ways.
"Jeff has been teaching ukulele with our "Advancement Via Individual Determination" (AVID) classes since last school year (2017-2018). It has been a wonderful experience for our kids at La Pine Middle School. He is patient and able to handle a large group of sometimes very energetic kids. We were able to put on two successful performances so far, and he does a great job of teaching the kids the chords and how to strum. Even my most musically challenged kids were able to strum out and participate in a group of 20 or more. This year we played a pop song, and he was able to make the chords easy enough for all students to access the music. Jeff is also a great communicator, which I really appreciate. He is very organized and always is on time and ready to rock the uke!"
- Carrie Baisch
6th Grade English Language Arts
6th Grade AVID Teacher
La Pine Middle School