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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
  • Ableton Live
  • Music Production and Technology


I offer a creative, relaxing, and informative atmosphere. I'm happy to follow a student's interest when possible, and I love sharing what I know. I tend to emphasize a deep understanding of why music sounds the way it does as well as guidance through fun and creative projects.

I offer lessons in many subjects including: composition, songwriting, improvisation, music theory, piano performance, music production, and Ableton Live.


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. For those who may not be familiar, improvisation is the art of creating original music and playing it at the same time. I love making 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 teach.

I wrote a 400+ page book on theory and composition and have developed my own unique method for approaching these topics. My approach 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. In music lessons, I teach not just how to talk about music but the fascinating complexity of how music actually works! By revealing why music sounds the way it does, we can connect theory to creative endeavors like composing, songwriting, and improvising. When you elevate music theory to this level, it becomes creative and practical.

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 deeply into the art of producing original music. Depending on your goals, I can also incorporate instruction on ear training, arranging, orchestration, music software and recording tools.


Piano Performance

The piano is a wonderful instrument with an incredibly versatile 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 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, and developing greater control over emphasis, dynamics, and timing. If you are a beginner and aren't sure what all those things mean, that's fine too. I also offer introductory instruction on how to read music and get started playing the piano.


Ableton Live - 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 and other related plug-ins and hardware equipment. Depending on your goals, music production lessons can include instruction on synthesizers, 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 or recording music with a computer!


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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