Ryan started his music with piano lessons at age four while lending his vocal talents in the recording booth for his musician/writer/ arranger father, Rick. Ryan was playing in piano recitals by age six, segued from keyboards to drums at age 14, and was subsequently accepted into the University of California, Santa Barbara percussion program after high school.
While an undergraduate at UCSB, Ryan spent three years as the principal timpanist for the UCSB Symphony and five years as timpanist with the UCSB Wind Ensemble. Concurrently over the same five year period, he performed with a diversity of UCSB ensembles, Orchestra and Jazz combos, work with the College of Creative Studies department (CCS), and a variety of recording and recital work in and outside the university. Chiefly among these was the UCSB Percussion Ensemble, where Ryan performed on a variety of percussive instruments, in solo or featured pieces. He worked over two years as a percussionist with the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, with a focus on timpani. Ryan also focused on the Indian Tabla drums, a discipline he also taught through the Ethnomusicology department at the University after his graduation.
Ryan has studied with percussionist Mike Faux, and Greg Goodall, Hollywood Bowl Principal Timpanist, as well as world-class percussionist and composer William Kraft. For three years, Ryan studied under John Magnussen, currently teaching percussion at CSUN, and Jon Nathan, director of Ethnomusicology Jazz UCSB, and Principal Timpanist for the Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera.
Ryan was hired (by Patrick Lindley, Principal Musician, UCSB Dance) for over a year to ultimately perform full time as one of only two music accompanists for the UCSB Dance dept. modern dance classes. As accompanist, he worked with modern studio and master classes for visiting dance companies and artists performing in-concert at UCSB including Paul Taylor, Larry Keigwin, Santa Barbara Summer Dance, White Oak and Pilobilus. In addition to his role as music accompanist, Ryan guest-lectured rhythm and percussion classes for the dance department on a number of occasions. After moving to San Francisco in the fall of 2002, Ryan expanded his involvement in the role of accompanist to include ODC, SFDC, Joe Goode, Stanford dance and Laney college in Oakland.
Other professional and teaching experience includes work with LA movie and mainstream film music composer Aaron Martin, Ride Productions, and Hands On. In the instructional realm, Ryan has worked with all ages and abilities, ranging from children aged four to adults at the college level and beyond, in both individualized and classroom or group environments. Additionally, Ryan has taught drumkit to a number of local students in the Santa Barbara as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco areas.
In the progressive Santa Barbara, LA and San Francisco scenes, Ryan has played percussion for bands that recorded a full-length and demo-length albums respectively, performing throughout the state of California with his band, The Prototype. His current band project, Excessive Acts, performs regularly in the Los Angeles area. They are currently in the post-production phase of their first EP-length album.
*** Lesson Details ***
Hello and welcome! The following paragraphs will provide you with an ample amount of information on my background, experience, and ability. I do, however, consider all of this information to be supplemental; the most important thing about any teacher of music is the ability to relate warmly with a student, to create an open and nurturing atmosphere in which the student is never made to feel uncomfortable or wrong. Everything is a process, and while there are always guidelines to be followed, music is ever in motion. Music is not absolute and rigid, but has a give and take. I always try to appeal to that same sense of flow in my own music exploration, as well as in my teachings to others.
Attributes and Services
Ryan is a professional drummer/percussionist with over 15 years experience performing and teaching to students of all ages in a wide variety of
styles ranging from orchestral and chamber percussion to jazz, funk,
rock, metal, as well as many ethnic musics such as those fund in Africa
and South America, the middle east and India.
Instrumental techniques offered include drumset as well as hand percussion including conga, bongo, darbukka, tabla, and assorted percussion--double pedal or brush technique also offered. Odd meters are something of a specialty for those interested. In addition to technique, Ryan also incorporates the
essential music theory, sight reading, ear training, associated with
the professional musician. As Ryan has perfect pitch, he is especially
suited to the latter, as well as specific tuning techniques for all
tunable percussion--particularly of use in timpani performance, as well
as drumming and singing instruction.
Ryan also provides mallet/keyboard instruction on a midi malletkat
which is quite portable and can operate between two studios, both located within a short distance of each other.
*** Specialties ***
music, drums, percussion
tabla, doumbek, latin percussion, djembe, etc., mallet/keyboard percussion (i.e. marimba, vibes),
rock, pop, jazz, classical, funk, fusion, ethnic music (India and Middle East),
Ryan currently performs every Friday (9-1) and Saturday (930-130am) nights performing in 3 sets which include international music (US and Europe), and a selection of Middle Eastern music from varying regions, such as Armenian, Persian, Arabic, Greek, and subsets of these regions/cultures. Lot's of fun, dance, and belly dancing, it's worth a visit.
As part of a two month program, Ryan teaches groups of students in a particular genre/theme, selected each cycle, 5 songs to be performed in 2 final concerts with other bands. Last year those themes/genres included Arena Rock, 80's Rock, Pop, Funk, Beatles, Modern Rock, Blues. In these groups, Ryan will teach aspects of all instrumentation as well as stage presence and working as a group. In addition, Ryan has had to fill in often on both drums and lead vocals and all these videos are public on youtube
Ryan teaches all ages/styles on piano and drums at this family owned business Ryan has been involved with since he was 8 years old, and since age 16 on and off as an employee.