Ryan Peters

Kansas City Musician, Producer, & Clinician

About Me

I am an active performer in the Midwest, playing professionally several times a week. The band I play with, Musivo Live (voted the best band in Kansas City), routinely plays events all over the country. I have played some of the most exciting venues in the region, including: Arrowhead Stadium, Kemper Arena, KC Power & Light, The Madrid Theater, Union Station, Bartle Hall, The VooDoo Lounge, The Blue Room, and The Legends. I’ve also headlined several large events and festivals, including: Monday Night Football, The Kansas City Auto Show, The American Royal, Tony Gonzalez’sFarewell Party, among others. In the past, I have had the distinct privilege of sharing the stage with such musical greats as Denis DiBlasio (former sax player and musical director for Maynard Ferguson), Jay Daversa (formerly with Stan Kenton among countless other professional/studio work), Vince DiMartino (formerly with Lionel Hampton, Chuck Mangione, Clark Terry, and others), Donna Tucker, as well as many other distinguished musicians.

I teach private music lessons, in several disciplines: trumpet, jazz for all wind instruments, music composition, and music production. Through the years, I’ve taught hundreds of students, and have learned the most effective ways to teach music.

I am a graduate of the Wichita State University School of Music with a degree in Music Performance with an emphasis in Jazz Studies. While at WSU, I studied under a great lead/jazz trumpet player, Scott Strecker. Prior to that, I spent a year studying with Roger Lewis at Butler. While there, I advanced my knowledge of jazz and commercial playing exponentially. I would strongly advise any aspiring jazz musicians take some time to study from him; he is easily the region's best educator of jazz. I have also attended Kansas State University with a major in Trumpet Performance. In K-State’s premiere big band, I played the solo book my first year and was lead trumpet my second year. I was also the trumpet selected to play in "Swing Machine", KSU's premier jazz combo. As a member of the athletic bands, I received several solo and feature trumpet opportunities.

Prior to college, I attended Manhattan High School in Manhattan, KS. There I played lead/principal trumpet in the jazz band, wind ensemble, orchestra, brass ensemble, brass quintet, marching band, and pep band. It was at MHS where I first discovered jazz. I credit Rod Manges, a very underrated educator, for instilling the roots of my jazz education. While at MHS, I was selected to two prestigious all-state honor jazz ensembles, and received numerous "1" ratings and several "Outstanding Soloist" awards at state music festivals.

Private Lessons/Group Clinics

There are a great deal of music teachers in Kansas City. It’s critically important to select a teacher that fits you and your particular goals. There are far too many “cookie-cutter” teachers out there that will hand you a method book and tell you to do 5 lessons a week. You need a teacher that will work with you and your individual goals and problems. It is for this very reason that I maintain a very small studio of students; expanding my studio to 30-40 students as many teachers do would only be detrimental to the student, as I would no longer be able to individualize each student’s lesson. I may not be accepting new students at the moment, but if you are interested, please get in touch with me. If I’m not accepting new students, I can put you on the waiting list and/or direct you to another qualified teacher.

Selecting a teacher based on any factor other than their ability to help you reach your goals is foolhardy at best. That’s why I offer a free lesson to any prospective student. I want you to assess me, and I need to be able to assess you. It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally I meet a prospective student who I don’t feel I can help as effectively as another teacher. In those instances, I will direct you to the name of the teacher who might be more beneficial.

Areas of Focus

Trumpet

As a trumpet instructor, there is a lot that I can offer students. From first rate jazz instruction, to fundamentals of the instrument, to mastery of the classics, there is quite literally nothing that I cannot help an aspiring trumpet player to do.

I have personally studied some of the most respected trumpet players in the nation. Among them include: Roger Lewis, Scott Strecker, Gary Mortenson, Judith Saxton, Henry Elder, and C.L. Snodgrass. Studying so many different pedagogies served to assist me in making my own decision about what works and what doesn’t work.

Fundamentally speaking, my pedagogy is a mixture of the Chicago school of using wind and airflow, and my own personal methodology. My personal methodology includes techniques which increase the overall efficiency of playing the trumpet. Ever wonder why some players just "have it" and you don't? This is because they've stumbled upon (usually accidentally) a way of playing that is just EASIER!

Unfortunately, a side effect of the large scale music instruction which our schools use to teach beginning band results in a plethora of bad habits being formed. Whether they realize it or not, nearly all students have several bad habits that prevent the trumpet from being as efficient and easy to play as it could be. My methods uses the laws of physics, airflow, and acoustics to help correct these bad habits. In turn, students find this helps them to beef up range, warm up tone, speed up tonguing, add more power, and just make the instrument easier. Rather than doing things the hard way, do them the easy way! My methods have never failed to produce results in any of my trumpet students.

Beyond the technical side of the trumpet lies the musical side. After all, that is what the instrument is for. My experience allows me a great understanding of many musical styles and can help turn any trumpet player, into a true musician. I have a particularly high experience in the jazz and commercial realm of playing. I can help you learn how to improvise and play stylistically correct in any style of jazz or commercial playing.

Piano

I have been playing piano for over 25 years, and teaching it for 15. Learning piano is a useful skill for musicians and non-musicians of all ages. It's a fantastic first instrument for your young child whom you are wanting to introduce to music. On the other side of the coin, learning piano is a fantastic way for a musician of another discipline to hone their abilities further. I teach both children and adults of all ages and abilities! And of course, unlike many other piano teachers, you or your child will receive completely individualized instruction, devoid of the cookie-cutter approach you see elsewhere.

Jazz

I started playing trumpet when I was eleven years old. By the time I was 13, I was ready to quit. I kept plugging away in my school’s band classes, not having much interest in the hunk of metal in my case. Generally, I tended to be placed in the ‘second trumpet’ parts--just mediocre. When I was 15, I was introduced to jazz. Instantly I became enamored with the music I was able to make with the trumpet. Practice ceased being a compulsory ritual, and became something I couldn’t get enough of. One year later, that practice proved to pay off, as I auditioned for and made the prestigious all-state jazz ensemble, as well as the lead trumpet spot in the all-region jazz ensemble.

My point is, for many students, jazz can be the spark that ignites a flame of lifelong passion for music. If you’re finding yourself aching for something new, learning to play jazz may be just up your alley.

I have studied with some of the highest acclaimed jazz professors in the country, and indeed have a degree from Wichita State University in Jazz Studies. To some degree, studying jazz is theoretical. Knowing chord changes, turnarounds, stock licks, etc, will certainly help you progress. Mostly however, jazz is an art that requires less teaching more gentle guiding to your own style. This is where traditional teachers will fail. “Teaching” jazz is akin to teaching Pablo Picasso to paint. Now, certainly I will teach you the fundamental knowledge you will need to be a successful jazz musician, but once the basics are accomplished, I cease being a traditional teacher and I begin being the arm on your back guiding you where you need to go.

Songwriting

Is there anything more rewarding than putting something down on manuscript paper, playing it, and knowing it is your own creation? The problem is, for the vast majority of the population, this is such a daunting task that to accomplish it would seem comparable to peaking Everest.

I have been composing music since I was 10 years old. I have written in practically any genre you can imagine: piano pieces, traditional jazz pieces, section solis, avant-garde works, and the list goes on. In that time, I’ve learned a great deal about what works and what doesn’t work. Allow me to show you what works so you can spare yourself years of time with what doesn’t.

Perhaps you aren’t even sure what you want to write, only that you want to write it. That’s okay too. I can get melodies out of your head that you don’t even know are floating around in there!

No matter what level a composer you are, I can take you to the next level. Whether you’re struggling even getting started, or wanting to get into advanced harmonies, I can guide you where you want to go.

Music Production

If you want a career in music in this modern age, you'd do well learning how to produce it. Whether you are interested in hip-hop, pop, EDM, or just learning the arts of mixing acoustic tracks, I can help you reach your goals.

Producing music is a beautiful mix of the creativity of pure songwriting, and the more technical side of creating a refined track. If this is something that interests you, contact me for more information.

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