018_JSPhoto_Ryan_Leach_020216As an 8 year old growing up in South Australia, Ryan started studying guitar so that he could play Beatles songs, which marked the beginning of a lifelong passion for music. Now an award winning composer for Film and TV, his music has been heard on every major network and clients include Disney, The California Lottery, MTV, Lowe’s and Rainn Wilson’s SoulPancake. Before branching out as a freelance composer, Ryan earned a degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music and worked as assistant to veteran composer Michael Levine at Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control Productions.

He recently scored the Ben Shelton comedy Candy Jar starring Academy Award winning actess Helen Hunt, Christina Hendricks, and Uzo Aduba. Other recent projects include Fire City: End of Days, directed by Academy Award winning creature designer Tom Woodruff Jr., and Rudy Dobrev’s short film The Emissary, starring Emmy award winning actress Margo Martindale, Law & Order: SVU’s Diane Neel, and edited by Richard Marizy (Academy Award and Golden Globe Award winning film La Vie en Rose).

011_JSPhoto_Ryan_Leach_020216He has scored over a dozen feature films including Pastor Shepherd starring Danny Trejo (Robert Rodriguez’s Machete), Serbian film Skinning co-starring Bojana Novakovic (M. Night Shyamalan’s Devil), and Anacapa by writer/director Nicholas Tolkien. Ryan won Best Original Score from the Maverick Movie Awards for his score to Devils Racecourse; previous winners include Philip Glass and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.

Other credits include library placements in Pawn Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, and The Colbert Report, score assistance on Bee Movie, The Simpsons Movie, and The Dark Knight, and additional music for Cold Case, Close to Home and the Val Kilmer film Columbus Day (scores by Michael A. Levine).

Education & Training

Berklee College of Music
Bachelors of Music in Film Scoring

Remote Control Productions
Assistant to Michael Levine at Hans Zimmer’s studio.
Credits include assistance for The Simpsons Movie,
Cold Case and The Dark Knight

Awards & Honors

Best Music – Short Film for Carry On
Wild Rose Independent Film Festival

Best Original Score for Devils Racecourse
Maverick Movie Awards. Previous winners include
Philip Glass and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke

Honorable Mention – Best Original Score for
Descendants of the Past, Ancestors of the Future

Asians On Film Festival

Click for IMDB Credits


pianovert-225x300Studying music is a lifelong pursuit and the best way to learn is under the guidance of an interested teacher. I have helped students from all backgrounds develop their composition skills, knowledge of music theory and overall musicianship.

Although composing original music and scoring films make up the majority of my work, I do take on a handful of students at a time. Not only does it keep my skills sharp, it’s fun!

Lessons are $75/hour and conducted over Skype.

If you are interested in lessons, e-mail me at ryan@ryanleach.com or call (310) 405-1582.

You can also read my tutorials and articles at Audiotuts and SCOREcast.


What topics do you cover?

  • Composition (Developing longer pieces, avoiding the “loop and build” trap, creating and developing motives, building phrases, periods/double periods, expansions of double periods, simple ternary forms, advanced concepts in form, etc.)
  • Orchestration (McKay’s Eight Orchestral Textures, Orchestration as separate from Composition, contrast, timbre, instrumentation, etc.)
  • Film Scoring (Techniques for Scoring to Picture, Film Score Analysis, Theme Writing, Technical aspects, etc.)
  • Music Production (Creating realism and fullness with MIDI, tips for using Logic Pro X, Sibelius, Pro Tools, Synthesis and Sampling, creating custom sample libraries, etc.)
  • Music Theory/Harmony (traditional diatonic theory, romantic harmony and chromaticism, jazz harmony, contemporary techniques such as root movement by thirds, 12-tone rows, chords in 4ths, etc.)

How can someone “teach” composition?

The best way to learn how to compose is simply by composing. The more you write, the better you get. The next step is to work under the guidance of an experienced teacher who can help bring your attention to your strengths and weaknesses, and guide you on how to develop and improve your craft.

When I first started teaching I would try to create worksheets and specific lesson plans, but it never ended up working. Everyone has a completely different background and level of experience, so there is no one-size-fits-all program.

My teaching method now is very practical. We begin by assessing the student’s current levels and develop a lesson plan according to their individual interests and needs. In general I give a specific writing assignment, and then we spend the lesson critiquing it, ripping it apart, and studying other music in response. People have a lot of ideas about what they think they need to work on, but the music never lies!

How often are the lessons?

As often as you want. If you want to do once a week or once a year, that’s entirely up to you. In my experience the best schedule is every other week, which seems to be the right amount of time for people to do the assigned writing or analysis, and is regular enough to see steady growth. When lessons are every week people inevitably fall behind when school/work/life gets in the way.


Direct Contact

Phone: 310.405.1582

Email: ryan@ryanleach.com

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