Percussion & Acoustic Guitar Instructor
“I have that same passion for music that has fueled me from youth.” – Christopher Ryan
From the time I was young I had a passion for rhythm. I began taking formal drum lessons when I was in the third grade. I quickly moved from a small practice pad to a full sized drum set. The many other percussion instruments that now crowd my rehearsal space (conga drums, djembe, cajon, etc.) would come in the years to follow.
I pursued music training in school. I took middle school, high school and college band courses.
However, it was a shift in perspective during my senior year of high school that would fundamentally change the way I played music. That year I was mentored by a multi-instrumentalist musician who taught me to play by ear and gave me the space to improvise behind the drum set. In a matter of months I learned to listen for and anticipate what an arrangement needed. My creativity and passion for the drum set exploded.
Today, I have that same passion for music that fueled me from youth. I work as a professional drummer and percussionist, in studio and on stage, for a number of artists in Colorado.
My Teaching Style
My approach to teaching is to lay a strong foundation and then to challenge the student to grow by having them use their foundational skills in more complex compositions. For example, I will teach a sticking pattern by first playing the rhythm only with the hands. We then play the same pattern on the snare drum while simultaneously keeping time with our feet. Finally, we move the pattern around the drum set, playing multiple drums with our hands and integrating both feet into the rhythm.
While I work to provide all students with a core skill set in rhythm, tempo, rudiments and dynamics, I also feel that these skills, when possible, should have a practical application for the student. For this reason, I like to encourage students to explore the music they enjoy and to integrate the skills they learn in their studies into the performance style they are passionate about.