Jeff Pifher

College Audition Prep, Composition, Improvisation, Jazz Composition, Jazz Improvisation, Music Practice Personal Training, Music Theory, Saxophone

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Jeff Pifher is an award-winning instrumentalist, composer, and producer. Recently he has received wide recognition with the release of the self produced short documentary In the Same Direction: Jeff Pifher & Socrates' Trial (2020) which chronicles Jeff and his band's latest projects garnering 24 “Best Documentary” and “Best Music” awards from film festivals worldwide. With his band, Socrates’ Trial, he has released three studio recordings and one live recording since 2018: Socrates’ Trial (2018), Alternate Futures/Past Realities (2019), Anthem (2019), and Live at Bluewhale (2020). Jeff has recently performed with his band at the Jazz Education Network Conference 2023 (Orlando, FL) and Catalina Jazz Club (Los Angeles, CA). He is currently a member of the Recording Academy.

As a music and film producer, Jeff has finished production on Somewhere, a short film musical centering around immigration reform featuring cast members from Wicked, Glee, American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent. He is also composer and lyricist for the film. In 2020 he produced Writing for Strings Masterclass featuring arrangements of his original music by Harlan Hodges (Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, League of Legends).

Jeff has received degrees from Eastman School of Music (B.M., ’07) and University of Miami (M.M., ’11) as well as a graduate certificate in arts entrepreneurship and leadership from the University of Southern California. He has been a teaching artist through the Herbie Hancock Institute and UCLA program Jazz in the Classroom. Jeff is also a clinician and private saxophone instructor.

Practicing should be fun! Pursuing clear goals and reaching milestones when learning music can and should be an enjoyable experience. Too often students become frustrated, bored, and even stressed out because they are not sure why they are practicing the given materials and how their practice will translate into reaching their personal goals. They feel they are not being treated as an individual with specific and unique goals.

My tailored and creative approach to teaching helps each student improve more quickly than on their own even when tackling more challenging repertoire and concepts. I show my students what to focus on and how to get the most out of their time spent practicing and playing music. I love to diagnose the problem and give clear and effective solutions towards a fix through specific assignments that achieve tangible results.

I am an extremely patient, attentive, enthusiastic, and understanding teacher that believes in my students.

I am comfortable teaching both beginning and more advanced students.

I specialize in teaching saxophone, jazz theory, and improvisation.

I am equally versed in teaching classical, jazz, and popular styles of music.

Often my students are shocked and amazed how quickly and easily they improve including the ability to improvise after only a few lessons. I strive to unlock each student’s musical voice and breakdown any barriers that are holding them back from realizing their goals.

University of Miami - Masters of Music / Jazz Performance (Saxophone)

Eastman School of Music - Bachelor of Music / Jazz Performance and Contemporary Media (Saxophone)

University of Southern California (USC) - Graduate Certificate in Arts Leadership


The Recording Academy

Society of Composers and Lyracists

International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers (ISJAC)

Guild of Music Supervisors (friend of the guild)

Jazz Education Network (JEN)

What I work on with all of my students:
- Sound / Tone Production and Development
- Reading Music Notation
- Effective Warm-Up Strategies
- Developing Technique
- Practice Strategies
- Repertoire
- Developing Rhythm
- Ear and Instrument Relationship

What I work on with my jazz students:
- Improvisation
- Developing Traditional and Modern Vocabulary
- Chord Scale Relationships
- Active Listening
- Jazz Aural Skills
- Triad Pairs
- Chord Substitutions
- Learning the History of Jazz

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