Ryan graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee USA.  After graduation, he toured the eastern United States with Swing and Traditional Jazz bands. During University he majored in Guitar RyanPerformance with a minor in Songwriting. During his time touring with various traditional jazz bands he was exposed to a variety of American musical styles including Jazz from New Orleans, Chicago, and New York; Blues from Texas, St. Louis, and Memphis; Country/Bluegrass in Nashville, Kentucky, and the Carolinas; and lots of blended sounds along the way. He believes that all styles of music are rooted in the same fundamentals. As Duke Ellington said, “There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind.”

He also worked as a house musician in The Grand Hotel Orchestra on Mackinac Island, Michigan under the direction of saxophonist Dr. Alex Graham. During this time, he developed a large finger-style solo-guitar repertoire and performed a variety of pop and jazz classics with the orchestra. He decided to relocate to Tokyo to pursue interests in language, culture, and of course, music. The American Guitar Academy is proud to have him as part of our team!


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At the American Guitar Academy, not only just learning songs, but I also got to strengthen my foundation and get to learn how to use various of techniques naturally.  It’s such a big difference between a player who gets the basics down compares to a player who doesn’t.

I am officially a music major…

I’m doing great and enjoying my time at college. I just wanted to let you all know that I am extremely thankful that I was able to have you as my guitar teachers for about a year, and that I was able to learn from you all. Now that I am officially a music major …

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It’s not just guitar, it’s “Music”…

I am having a lot of fun learning at the American Guitar Academy! My teacher has taught me not only guitar, but what music really is.  I was obsessed with learning techniques and I have forgotten the fun when playing the guitar.  My teacher always reminds me of the fun when I was struggling with …

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Aiko Ishikawa

Unique instruction…

I learned the knowledge and techniques not available in any other schools in Japan!