Ryan Leaver started his journey in music education at the Community Music School (Trappe, Pa) in 1996 at the age of 16. While attending CMS for three years, he studied guitar and music theory with Eric Sessler, Don Reese, and James Kinney.
After graduating high school from Perkiomen Valley in 1998, he attended the Berklee College of Music receiving a B.A. in Jazz Composition in 2003. During this period, he studied privately with Dennis Sandole, Charlie Banacos, George Garzone, Bob Moses, Joe Morris, John Thomas, Ben Sher, Jack Pezanelli, and John Wilkins, attended masterclasses and clinics with Mick Goodrick, Dave Liebman, Chuck Loeb, Frank Tibeiri, Charlie Kohlhase, Chad Smith, Laszlo Gardony, Jamey Haddad and Alex Skolnick, and took single lessons with Ran Blake, Ben Monder, Ron Thomas, and Tony Marino.
In 1999, he attended the National Guitar Summer Workshop with masterclasses given by Jack Wilkins, Mark Dziuba, Peter Bernstein, and Howard Alden (he was able to perform with Howard Alden). Mr. Leaver taught at the Community Music School as a guitar instructor in 2002-2003 before pursuing graduate studies.
In 2006, he received a M.A. in Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA. Longy’s unique graduate programs curriculum consisted of focused studies in the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Technique, Eurhythmics, Harmolodics (Ornette Coleman) and the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization (George Russell). While at Longy, he continued his jazz studies with the Fringe (Bob Gullotti, George Garzone, and John Lockwood) and also studied classical guitar with Thom Noren, saxophone with Stan Strickland, ensemble studies with Charlie Kohlhase, and composition with John Morrison. He attended masterclasses with distinguished musicians such as Allen Forte, Robert & Pozzi Escot, Robert Willoughby, Bob Moses, Greg Bendian and Karl Berger.
From 1999 to 2009, Mr. Leaver earned 60+ credits in a variety of subjects at the Montgomery County Community College. In 2009, he became an adjunct professor at the Northampton Community College teaching music fundamentals classes.
In 2012, Mr. Leaver became an instructor at the Community Music School again after performing at their annual Alumni Concert. In 2013, he received a Certificate of Orton-Gillingham Teacher from the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Allentown. In 2016, he attended the Golandsky Institute’s Summer Piano Symposium at Princeton University. In 2017, he became an instrumental, ensemble, and music theory instructor at the Kimberton Waldorf School in Kimberton Pennsylvania.
Mr. Leaver has been studying drums privately with Master Drum Educator Martin Bradfield since 2018. In 2020, he completed the Teacher Certification Program at Immaculata University and was awarded Level I Certification (K-12) to teach music in the state of Pennsylvania.