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Ryan Taylor

Walkersville, MD 21793 (map)

Lessons Offered

Composition, Keyboard, Music Theory, Piano

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

In Student Home

Virtual / Online

About Me

Ryan is a composer, improviser, music theorist, pianist, music producer, and teacher. He is the author of the successful textbook The Theory and Creation of Music: A Comprehensive Guide to Composing Your Own Music. He has won awards for his original music, such as his first place award for Best Original Film Score in the Montgomery County Film Festival in 2011. He also has performed in prestigious venues like the Takoma Park Jazz Festival and the Siemens Competition Awards Ceremony hosted in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

Ryan writes and performs in a variety of styles ranging from classical to jazz to electronic. He has experience writing music for large ensembles such as orchestras and jazz big bands. As a music producer, he has worked with big and small groups of musicians alike in professional-level recording studio environments. His expertise also extends to the mixing, mastering, and synthesis applications of music technology that have become so central to the modern music industry.

Ryan holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music in Contemporary Writing and Production. He was accepted in 2013 with a scholarship and finished the four-year program only two and half years later. He has studied with great teachers such as the amazing composer and concert pianist Jeffrey Chappell. He has also studied guitar performance on the side and experiments with different instruments whenever he can.

In recent years, Ryan has focused on teaching workshops, classes for small groups, and private lessons. He teaches online and in-person, independently and through the Frederick Rock School.

My Musical Education Background

Bachelor of Music Degree

Berklee College of Music

Contemporary Writing and Production

Genres and Subjects Taught

  • Composition
  • Songwriting
  • Improvisation
  • Music Theory
  • Piano Performance
  • Ear Training
  • Music Production and Technology

See additional information on each subject below...

Composition - Songwriting - Improvisation - Music Theory

My passion for music began when I was seven years old. It all started for me with composition and improvisation (improvisation = the art of composing music while simultaneously playing it). I love to create my own original music and I have since the very beginning of my musical journey. To this day, composition and improvisation are some of my favorite things to do and favorite things to teach. My love of creating original music inspired me to write an educational book on the topic and develop my own unique method for approaching these topics. My approach to composing and improvising includes an integrated method of intellectual and creative development. It is truly unfortunate that so often music theory is presented as a mere collection of naming systems and rules. To me, understanding music with the mind is a key ingredient to becoming an effective and inspired artist. In music lessons, I teach not just how to talk about music but the fascinating complexity of how music operates - the fundamental principles that illuminate the translation of sound into thoughts and emotional expression. When you elevate music theory to this level, it becomes interlinked to composition and improvisation - just as having a good understanding of a written language like English is interlinked with being a good writer and speaker! But musical creativity can't be a matter of only intellectualization either! Through a process of working on projects, receiving feedback, and learning key strategies for creating more of what you want in your music, we will dive head first into the art of creating original music. Depending on your goals, I can also incorporate instruction on ear training, arranging, orchestration, and music production (technology). And finally, together we will explore the deep introspective questions of what you want to express in your music and the vast constellation of possibilities to choose from!

Piano Performance

The piano is a wonderful instrument with an incredibly vestile range of abilities. The piano has the potential to produce some really beautiful and inspiring music but there is also a lot to know. In piano lessons, I'll provide highly valuable instruction and guidance on the key aspects of playing the piano: interpreting a piece of music accurately and with artistic expressiveness, improving technical ability, learning methods for efficient fingering and effective pedaling technique, developing greater control over emphasis, dynamics, and timing, and even strategies for physically improving and safely caring for your hands, fingers, and forearms. If you are a beginner and aren't sure what all those things mean or if they would apply to you, that's fine too. I also offer introductory instruction on how to read music and get started playing the piano.

Ear Training

Ear training is a critical skill for becoming a creative musical artist. The ability to translate our imaginations into sound, is a central area of development for composers, improvisers, performers, and other musical artists. Ear training can also involve the exploration and improvement of one's imaginative abilities: How clearly can we hold musical creations in our imagination and what are the limits of that imagination? These are important questions for most any musician, beginner or seasoned expert.

Music Production and Technology

Modern technological tools are revolutionizing the possibilities for musical artists. By learning about music production, you can have the sounds of the orchestra, rock band, and beyond all at your finger tips. I offer instruction in Ableton Live, Pro Tools, and other related plug-ins software and hardware equipment. Depending on your goals, music production lessons can include instruction on synthesis, realistic sounding manipulation of samplers, recording, mixing and mastering. If these terms sound like Greek to you, that's fine too! All that is required for music production lessons, is an interest in creating music with a computer and other pieces of music technology.

Lesson Rates

$35/hour plus travel fees if applicable.

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

Ages 7 and up. I teach beginner and intermediate students in all subjects. I'm happy to accept more advanced students as well, and can offer a free consultation to see if my experience overlaps with what you are interested in learning. 

My Certifications and Awards

Best Original Film Score - May 2011

Montgomery County Film Festival

My Musical Influences

Faure, Bach, Bill Evans, Daft Punk, Rameses B, Joni Mitchell, Muse, and so many others... 

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