Brenden (he/him) is a guitarist and educator based in Portland, Oregon. Brenden attended Willamette University and earned his B.A. in music with an emphasis in improvisation. Brenden is an avid songwriter and writes and records his own music under the project name “Bory.” Having experience with students of all ages and skill levels, Brenden is a patient, versatile teacher who loves to see his students grow.
What age were you when you first started taking music lessons?
14 years old
Tell us about an early music lessons experience that helped shape you as a musician or teacher:
My first private music teacher was Ira Raibon, a saxophonist who played with Earth Wind & Fire back in the day. He is super knowledgable about music, but above all he was such a nurturing mentor. I was an extremely shy kid and he helped me break out of my shell and embrace my love for music. His patience and positive influence allowed me to share my relationship with music with others and eventually pursue music as a career.
What are your favorite bands or musicians?
The Beatles, Elliott Smith, and Stevie Wonder are constants that I always come back to. I pretty much learned how to make music through listening to them! Lately I have been really into Andy Shauf and Kero Kero Bonito.
Do you have a highlight of your music career so far that you would like to share?
One of my highlights is probably the first time I went on tour. It was right after college when I had first stepped out into the “real world” as a musician. I was definitely stuck in a bubble, but going on tour and playing in a different city every night with great bands immediately widened my perspective and gave me invaluable experience. Even now, whenever I go on tour I feel like I learn so much!
Describe your ideal student.
I love teaching people who are big music fans. People who listen to a lot of music and have their own favorite artists and whatnot. When a student has that kind of enthusiasm for music, it makes learning fundamentals, theory, and technique that much more rewarding for them. I also enjoy seeing students use what they have learned to create their own music.
Describe what your students should expect in their first few music lessons.
In my first few lessons I try to get to know the student and create a positive and trusting relationship. Music can be such a vulnerable thing to share with others, and I want to make sure everyone is able to relax and have fun. In this time I’ll also be able to assess the student’s experience level and interests and base my curriculum around that.
Why did you want to become a music teacher?
I wanted to become a music teacher because playing music is such a unique outlet that I believe everyone should be able to utilize. I hope to lead by example in showing my students how rewarding and fun it is to play.