Ryan began playing drums in 1996, at the age of 11, taking private lessons and participating in school bands. A military brat, he attended 7 schools in 4 states before graduating from Crested Butte Community School in the mountains of Colorado. In 2007 Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Colorado under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Walter.

As a performer, Ryan has worked in the studio or on stage with Alma Llama, Errant, Niwot Timberline Symphony Orchestra, Mordheim, Amish Warfare, Amara Grace, Immortal Sÿnn, Bloodstrike, and Havok. While in Havok, the band signed with Candlelight Records and Ryan appeared on the 2009 album Burn. His current band, Bloodstrike, has two records out on Redefining Darkness Records, In Death We Rot (2015) and Execution of Violence (2017). 

As a teacher, Ryan has worked with hundreds of students in Washington, Colorado, and New Mexico by way of public schools, private schools, private music schools (including the School of Rock Aurora), retail music stores, and out of his own home studio. His instructional books are published by Hudson Music and he teaches students worldwide via video. As of 2018, Ryan lives in New Mexico with his wife and daughter.