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Daily Inspiration: Meet Ryan Schiedermayer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ryan Schiedermayer.

Ryan, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. How did you start and where are you now?
I’ve always been drawn to music of all styles and genres. My career as a drummer started when I was 15 years old, after years of pestering my parents to let me play the drums. They had recently divorced, and my teenage angst was becoming harder to handle. From the day my Dad took me to the local drum shop in Wisconsin to pick out my first kit, I knew that I was embarking on my life’s path. Drumming and music became my outlet to pour out my emotions and capture my creativity. It made such a positive impact in shaping my identity and building my self-esteem.

I started my first band within weeks of getting my drum set and got my first gig on New Year’s Eve. I was immediately hooked and regularly performed in clubs throughout high school until moving to Minneapolis when I was 19 in the hopes of “making it” as a professional drummer in a famous band.

After three years in Minneapolis, I didn’t see how I could possibly breakthrough and be able to financially make a living from my passion. Feeling defeated, I went back to college in Wisconsin, but the desire to get back into music was always there. Serendipitously, that’s when I was asked to audition for the Milwaukee Bucks NBA house band Streetlife. At age 23, my path to becoming a professional musician was back on track. From that point, I became a hired gun, ultimately working for multiple touring acts including Grammy-nominated artists and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members. I was able to master a multitude of styles and genres. And, I got the opportunity to travel worldwide performing on USO/DOD tours for the United States Armed Forces.

My passion for making music is coupled with my desire to inspire others through music education. I began teaching private drum and percussion lessons when I was 24. Having been an educator for over 20 years, my goal is to ignite interest and make learning fun for students, as I see teaching as a mentorship that builds confidence and life-long skills in areas of public performance, social dynamics, and goal management.

When my wife and I had the opportunity to move to LA in 2015, I hit the ground running and put myself out there in the LA music scene. I have found it to be incredibly supportive, vibrant, and diverse with a real sense of community. I started working with multiple singers and songwriters around town. Soon after, I received a call to audition and got the gig for Annabella Lwin’s Bow Wow Wow. Having grown up listening to percussion-driven songs like “I Want Candy”, I was in musical bliss.

While becoming an in-demand drummer in LA, I also created a new and innovative online teaching platform that has allowed me to teach students virtually in LA and around the country. My story would not be complete without mention of my strong conviction for giving back. Music has helped me in personal ways that have been unimaginable, and I strive to impart that to my students and through volunteering and mentoring at organizations like A Place Called Home in South Central LA that resonate with my core beliefs of building self-confidence, empowerment and life-long skills.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. But, it has been a test of perseverance and making opportunities happen.

The biggest struggle has been that there isn’t a clear path on how to make it in the music industry. I’ve really had to diversify my skills and capabilities for long-term sustainability in a volatile and ever-changing industry.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a professional drummer, music educator and consultant. I specialize in all styles and genres of music, which does make me unique and able to teach a wide spectrum of musical concepts.

In terms of what sets me apart from others, I always go beyond what is expected. Well enough is not good enough.

To me, music is the whole and greater than the sum of its parts. Being a supportive musician is my goal. The greatest compliment I have ever received about my playing was “you are the most unselfish musician I’ve ever known”. This meant so much to me, as my happiness and fulfillment derived from accompanying others and playing the song.

Have you learned any interesting or important lessons due to the Covid-19 Crisis?
Because I began my live online teaching business in 2015, the online teaching format became more of a reality to educators around the world. I was able to help educators and students navigate through uncharted waters by offering professional consultation and virtual lessons.

This, of course, didn’t address the inability to perform live events which I can’t wait to get back to.

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Image Credits:

Sara Keefe

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