Riley Nicholson

Riley N.

San Francisco, CA

Lesson Details

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Riley teaches



Riley delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4+

Teaching since:
August 2014

I teach piano, percussion, and composition to a wide range of students who are passionate and excited about music! I especially love working with beginning students who are just discovering their relationship with music; that development period is so inspiring to foster!

Specifically, I offer lessons in:

Music Composition
Or any combination of the above!

My teaching experience so far includes teaching beginning piano and percussion students and coaching professional and pre-professional artists on modern music.


D. Riley has composed and performed for a wide range of ensembles and performance venues including music for contemporary ballet, theater, orchestral music, chamber music, and vocal music. Riley feels comfortable writing for electric guitar one day and string orchestra the next; his music can be described as metaphorically rich, innovative, and modern, but never inaccessible or overly intellectual.

Fascinated and committed to working with artists outside of music as well as within, past collaborations include original music for Ballet Memphis's Cecily Khuner, Three Penny Theater, Cello Street Quartet, SFCM New Music ensemble, Balmoral Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Roar, Hot Air Music Festival, Switchboard Music, SFCM Percussion Ensemble, University of Memphis Percussion Ensemble and many other talented artists and organizations.

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Production Manager
Aug 2016 - Present
Private Company

Modern Music Coach
Aug 2014 - Present
Self Employed

Instrumental Music Teacher
Feb 2009 - Present
Self Employed

Composer, Pianist, Percussionist
Jan 2009 - Present
Self Employed


Masters in Music Composition
Aug 2014 - May 2016
San Francisco Conservatory of Music
B.M. in Music Performance
Aug 2009 - May 2014
University of Memphis
B.A. in Psychology
Aug 2009 - May 2014
University of Memphis


Fluent / Native Proficiency


New Music Grant
Jan 2016
Horizons Foundation

Photos & Videos

OPEN written by D. Riley Nicholson
Performed by D. Riley Nicholson and the SFCM New Music Ensemble
Doors composed by D. Riley Nicholson
Performed by D. Riley Nicholson and the SFCM Percussion Ensemble
On Music and Metaphor
D. Riley Nicholson artist interview
Season Unison composed by D. Riley Nicholson
Performed by the Cello St. Quartet
Photo by Riley N.

Photo by Riley N.


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