NOW OPEN: Thursday - Saturday 12:00-4:00 p.m. Our music school has gone VIRTUAL- All lessons now online

Instructor Bios

Beginning & Group Ukulele
with Wendy Schaefer

Playing ukulele is a lot like dancing with a partner. Your left hand fingers move around the fretboard in a pattern of steps while your right hand keeps a steady beat on the strings. I’d love to help you get going with ukulele, and have designed classes for beginners and intermediate players that will enable you to “dance with your partner” and understand how western music is constructed using a “major key,” and “major scale”. It all adds up to a lot of fun, using an instrument that is small and portable. Be sure you get a case, because you are going to want to take your uke with you wherever you go! See you soon at beginning ukulele, on-going ukulele, or an ukulele jam! 

Wendy no offers private lessons ONLINE for beginning students by appointment.  Email to schedule your lesson.

Training: James Hill Ukulele Initiative. Level One, Two, and Three: Graduate, 2013     

Ukulele with Caleb

Sign up for ONLINE ukulele lessons with Caleb today.  Contact Caleb directly at   "The fun of the musical quest is what it's all about.  Let's see what we can do online together during this epidemic.  Let's keep making music a part of your daily enjoyment, and part of mine!" 

Life without music, I can't go. Oh no”.- Steel Pulse. Who can imagine life without music? Music is our connection between our deepest Self, others and the universe we live in. Music is the universal band and we are all parts of this grand orchestra from the smallest atoms to the largest solar systems. 

Caleb has been a musician his entire life. Growing up in the Caribbean, music was a central part of his upbringing. From calypso, to reggae, rock, jazz, blues, hip-hop, country and soul, Caleb has a great appreciation for all styles of music.
Caleb has recorded numerous singles and has completed an album of reggae music to date. He continually creates and learns new music and theory and has integrated music into his life as a daily habit of practice and enjoyment.

His approach to music education focuses on developing extraordinary rhythm and percussive timing. Since rhythm makes up half of music, learning rhythm well will take students a long way to becoming competent musicians.

The ukulele is the perfect stringed instrument to learn music on. It is portable, light, small, only has four strings, easy to learn, fun to play and an incredibly communal instrument. Anyone can play the ukulele and it is known as the easiest stringed instrument to play.

Caleb will teach you how to develop your rhythm, sing and play your favorite songs in short order. You will learn how to strum, play melodies and leads, and use your ukulele as an accompaniment to your singing.
Guitar with Al 

Playing and teaching music is my life. I believe that everyone aspires to express them self through music. I believe that everyone can learn to play, and I have the pleasure of proving this true every day!

Al teaches guitar, bass and ukulele and is available for private lessons by appointment.

phone: (503) 206-9302          email:

Guitar & Piano with Joel 

Joel Kabakov is now available for ONLINE  private lessons for students of piano and classical guitar.

Joel Kabakov has maintained a multidisciplinary role in the arts, as composer, pianist, guitarist, educator, author and music industry executive. Retreating to the Northwest after over a decade of directing Yamaha Foundation’s advanced music curricula, he now serves as Chair of Arts and Humanities at Columbia Gorge College. “Europatopia” is the performing arts ensemble Kabakov recently formed in Oregon which explores historically and ethnically diverse repertoire.

As Graduate Prize Fellow and doctoral recipient in composition at Harvard, Joel taught chamber music, counterpoint, music history and independent piano studies. Collaborations with the Boston Symphony, Boston Ballet, Harvard Dance Center and Young Audiences Inc. ensued as did chairmanship of composition at the Boston Conservatory. His present pianistic passion is the ever unfolding “Melodian and Keyboard Explorations” which combines technique, theory, and a “foretaste for composition”. In guitar, Joel specializes in flamenco, early classical, folk and country picking. 


Voice & Sax with James 

James Andrews moved to the area in 2016 to began working as the new music instructor at Dufur School. A multi-instrumentalist, James has been teaching for about 5 years, including schools in Portland and Fossil. As he says, "I was handed a saxophone in band class 20 years ago and I've been obsessed ever since". James's passion is contagious and if you've been wanting to learn saxophone, voice, or guitar his classes will inspire you to get better!


Drums & Percussion with Nevin

Drums and Percussion have been Nevins native instruments for over 18 years. During that time he has had many different experiences in the world of music and it's many different genres. Nevin is proficient in Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, Rock, Alternative, Reggae and many other playing styles, and feels eager to teach all that he has learned. Come check out the world of Drums and Percussion with Nevin!


Piano & Band Instruments with Pamela

Pamela was born and raised in Hood River, and recently returned to her childhood home in the Gorge after many years in the Portland area. She attended Pacific University, graduating with a B.A. in Music Education and a minor in theatre arts and dance.  Pam has over 35 years of experience in teaching private piano and band instruments students!  Looking forward to working with students at Gorge Community Music as they continue to perfect their music performing skills.

Banjo with Nick 

Born and raised in the great state of Vermont, I've always enjoyed the outdoors. So when I first came to the gorge as a wildland firefighter in 2008 it's probably no surprise that I naturally fell in love with the beautiful scenery, infinite opportunity for outdoor exploration, and local culture and couldn't help sticking around. I now live in Hood River with my wife and kids and dog and instruments (yes, they're part of the family), where I torture them all (and our neighbors) with musical renditions every day. 
I grew up playing classical and jazz piano. In college a piano didn't fit the tiny closet I called my room, so I began learning guitar, which in hindsight turned out to be the gateway drug to my now decade-long banjo obsession. I've played banjo and other instruments in bluegrass, pop, and metal bands in California and Oregon for the last five years. While inspired by bluegrass, I enjoy playing just about any genre and aspire to help others learn and enjoy making music through the incredibly spunky and versatile instrument we call the banjo. 

 Call (541) 296-2900 to schedule!  

$25 half hr/ $45 hr

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