Ben Riley is an acoustic and classical guitarist, songwriter, writer, and music educator with a style that is firmly grounded yet unmistakably original. Ben began his musical studies on the guitar at age thirteen, and soon after developed an enduring passion for the guitar and its music. This passion and dedication to the craft has resulted in performances at a wide variety of venues throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.
After being homeschooled for the entirety of his school years, Ben attended Berklee College of Music’s Master Guitar Certificate Program. During his time at Berklee, Ben attended courses in jazz, blues, and rock guitar, music theory, and music business. Upon completion of his studies at Berklee, Ben studied classical guitar with Professor Glenn Sparks at Nyack College from 2014 – 2018, where he received further instruction in music theory, music history, orchestration, conducting, and music pedagogy. Ben graduated from Nyack College in 2018 with a Bachelor’s of Music in Classical Guitar Performance, Summa Cum Laude.
As a music educator, Ben teaches guitar, bass, mandolin, ukulele, beginner piano and music theory lessons privately and at Rivertown Music in Nyack, New York. Ben greatly enjoys sharing his love of music through teaching, and believes that learning music should be fun, engaging, and personally fulfilling. As a result, Ben utilizes a student-centered approach that focuses on the unique needs and abilities of each student while also providing a strong foundation in traditional methods.
Ben is also a freelance writer, having written articles on music, education, climate change, medicine, and related topics. These articles have been published in Life Learning Magazine, Tipping Points Magazine, and Grey House Publishing, and combine scholarly research with reflections based on personal experience. Ben has presented on topics relating to music and education at the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO) Conference and the Nyack College Scholars Symposium. Ben also completed a one year internship with the College Music Society from 2018 – 2019, where he served as content editor for their academic journal College Music Symposium. He is currently a graduate student at Hunter College, where he is pursuing an M.A. in Music with a concentration in Music Theory. In addition, Ben writes a blog titled Classical Guitar Analysis which chronicles his research, study and analysis of classical guitar music.