Faculty by Area

Jeff Brandt

The Unprofessor


Personal Summary

I happen to live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Missoula, Montana. Here, I share a home with my wife, our three above-average children, and three adorable cats – Batsy Petunia Stinkpot Licorocia, Señor Felix Buckingham Pads, and Lily –– better known as Poofy Swiggy. Why do our cats have so many different names? Come take my History of Rock & Roll class (MUSI 132L) and find out, or spend your life wondering...


I earned Bachelor's degree in Percussion Performance from Pacific Lutheran University, sometime around the beginning of The Internet Age (1994). After approximately ten years of working as a private percussion instructor and playing various gigs in the Puget Sound area, I decided it was time to pursue a Master's Degree. After several auditions it became clear that the University of Montana was exactly what I was looking for in a music school. However, little did I know that after completing my Master's Degree in Percussion Performance I would be hired as an Adjunct Professor here at U of M. I am happy to report that I simply love my position in the School of Music, where I pretty much teach The History of Rock & Roll, exclusively.

Courses Taught

I currently teach the popular History of Rock & Roll course (MUSI 132L) in the School of Music. Nearly 1,000 students take this course each and every year. In addition to my university work, I own a local percussion studio – The Bearcussion™ Studio – where I teach drumset, snare drum, timpani, and keyboard percussion to students of all ages.

Teaching Experience

Prior to teaching at the University of Montana, I held a position as an Adjunct Professor at both Pacific Lutheran University, as well as Pierce College. At PLU I taught a variety of subjects: Aural Perception, Percussion Lab, Jazz Drumset, and Music Business. At Pierce College, I was exclusively an adjunct percussion instructor.


Waaaaaay back in middle school (ca. 1983) I came up with a very simple idea of teaching rhythm using food. After numerous trials and errors, failures and successes, and discovery of foods both semi-tasty and very tasty, this idea turned into a self-published book (1999) entitled Tasty Rhythms® Fundamental Rhythm Method. This book, with very little marketing, became popular with a wide range of educators on a national scale. Although this particular book is temporarily out of print, I an proud to announce that I will release several new Tasty Rhythms™ products sometime around 2020.

Professional Experience

In terms of performance, I have worked in a variety of settings. The following is a short list of professional experiences I have had over the past ten-plus years: Northwest Sinfonietta, Tacoma Symphony, Seattle Fifth Avenue Theatre Orchestra, Tacoma Opera, Missoula Symphony, Total Experience Gospel Choir, Tacoma Musical Playhouse, PLU Faculty Jazz Combo, Big Pink (Rock), The Hayrollers (Country), Jodi Marshall Trio (Jazz), and the John Floridis Trio (Blues). In addition, I have shared the stage with the following world-renowned artists: The Call (Rock), the Brecker Brothers (Jazz/Funk), Eddie Daniels (Jazz), Bill Watrous (Jazz), and Adolf "Bud" Herseth (Classical).


I enjoy reading, watching Netflix, a nightly glass of French wine, neatly lettering addresses on envelopes, keeping our kitchen clean, working on various remodeling projects, teasing my children to make them laugh, the hue of the color orange, speaking in a British accent, playing pranks on other professors, writing songs about my cats, imitating Bill Clinton, and drinking tons of water so that I can avoid the common cold. It seems appropriate to say that I also enjoy quilting and horseback riding, as well, but I've never really spent much time on either.