Ryan Kellis

Ryan K.

Woodland Hills, CA

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Ryan has been playing piano since the age of 4, where is was discovered he has perfect pitch. In addition to all styles/levels, be it pop, classical, fusion, and even non-western melodies and music, Ryan can teach students to learn a reference pitch to aid in relative/perfect pitch efforts. Ryan also has professional experience singing and playing the piano, and can teach the melding of these two skills as well.
See all subjects

Ryan teaches



Ryan delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 3+ and special needs

Teaching since:
January 1991

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),

+ Read More


Sep 2013 - Present
Carousel in Glendale

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.

+ Read More
Band Coach, GC Studios Rockshow
May 2011 - Present
GC Studios (Guitar Center)

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

+ Read More
Drum/Piano Instructor
Jan 1994 - Present
Kaye's Music Scene

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.


BA-Music (Percussion) from UCSB
Sep 1995 - Jun 2001
Univeristy of California Santa Barbara


Limited Proficiency
Limited Proficiency

Photos & Videos

This is a sort of hybrid arrangement of Flight based of several different orchestrations I heard while researching this piece for my performance.  Enjoy!
This was a piece I played for my senior recital that I recently revived in order to post online.
I coach bands as well - this is one of the most recent shows
My cover group at House of Blues Hollywood
Photo by Ryan K.

Home Studio
+ 2 more

10 Reviews

Write a Review
Jordan May 9, 2016
Drum · In home

Ryan is patient, enthusiastic, encouraging and focuses on what ever part of music you want to learn.

Linda M. Aug 18, 2015
Drum · In studio

Leading my bucket list was learning to play the drums, and I am so fortunate to have Ryan as my instructor. He is very patient and encouraging. His bio states that he teaches students of all ages, and I venture to guess that I am his oldest student at age 71. He is not only teaching me to play the drums, but to read music as well. You are never too old to follow your dreams. Thank you Ryan!

+ Read More
Raz B. May 3, 2013
Drum ·

Great Teacher

Ryan has been teaching Drum lesson to my 8 years old son for last 3 months. My son is a very challenging student and has problem focusing and paying attention. I am really amazed that he actually learnt and playing music.

Sharon B. Apr 6, 2013
Drum ·

excellent instructor for drums and piano!

Ryan is an exceptional music instructor. He has been giving guidance to my 13 year old son on drums and piano for 3-4 months and my son's abilities have dramatically soared. Ryan is equally talented on both instruments and offers top notch dual instruction. Ryan is a true musician and knows how to communicate the language of music on various levels to my son. He observes and instructs accordingly.
My son is so excited after each lesson that he comes home and practices both instruments on his own, without having to be prompted. My son plays both instruments now with so much more style and exuberance. Ryan is extremely professional, soft spoken and gifted on his own. I would highly recommend Ryan as a music instructor for kids and adults.

+ Read More
GozdeF Dec 23, 2011

Alex's mom

Ryan is an excellent teacher. Thanks to his amazing knowledge of the subject matter, impressive creativity, support and patience, my son always looks forward to Ryan's lessons. Ryan always supports my son's passion to learn to play the piano and drums, and he successfully manages to direct my son's energy into something productive, which motivates my son to learn even more. So, thank you, Ryan, for everything!

+ Read More
LyndaS Sep 15, 2011

Ryan is perfect for my boys. He's young enough to relate, very patient and encouraging and clearly a professional. I would absolutely recommend him!

GiovanniB Oct 29, 2010

Ryan K.

Ryan is exactly what I was looking for in an instructor. Besides being an obviously talented musician, he can translate that talent into a learing enviorment. He's patient, articulate... and makes it fun. Excellent rating.

PremK Jul 17, 2009

Inspiring and energizing teacher

Ryan K is an excelllent teacher with sharp focus, attention to detail and multiskills.He teaches with total committment and enthusiasm always encouraging the student and makes each lesson truly enjoyable.

KayD Jun 12, 2009

The student is my grandson Chandler. The lessons are a gift from me to him. His father is simply "wowed" by Ryan's teaching and Chandler very much likes working with Ryan.

SheriL Feb 9, 2009

Talented, personable, and patient

Ryan is talented,personable and patient.A wonderful combination for any student seeking to learnhow to play an instrument.Brandon's mom

You may want to revisit

Previously viewed teachers: