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Riley Merino is a dedicated musician teaching private lessons online and in the Denver area.
University of Colorado at Denver
Bachelor of Arts: Music Business
Riley Merino
Guitar, Bass, Piano, Banjo

Riley Merino fell in love with music at the age of eight, after discovering a fascination with early rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and the Beatles. He began taking guitar lessons, learning to read basic sheet music, a skill that would stay with him throughout his life. By age 12, Riley began to understand chord shapes and gained a crucial knowledge of the fretboard that allowed him to begin making some of his largest strides on the instrument. He quickly realized that he could learn simple songs and melodies using intuition and critical listening skills. The songs he played became increasingly technical and complex, and Riley was able to sharpen his skills to a professional level.

Upon joining his high school jazz band, Riley was exposed to a new area of performing he had previously been unfamiliar with: improvisation. His private lessons taught him more concrete music theory and scales that he would continue to expand upon to become a competent improviser and expert musician. He instantly fell in love with jazz, and at 15 took up the piano, learning about chord voicings, arranging, and accompaniment.

Riley would go on to study jazz guitar performance at the University of Colorado Denver, with such accomplished Denver musicians as Drew Morrell, Sean McGowan, and Bill Kopper. Currently, he can be found performing all over Denver on the guitar, bass guitar, piano, and banjo, in various bands and ensembles encompassing jazz, R&B, indie rock, punk rock, bluegrass, and folk music. He teaches a number of students at a local music school in addition to his private lessons.

In the classroom, a fun and relaxed environment is Riley's number one priority. he believes that lessons should be a safe space for students to explore the beautiful art that they love. He treats music first and foremost as a language, teaching students to value self-expression through music, and to use it to communicate with the world around us. To this end, Riley engages his students in ear-training practices, listening exercises, and makes plenty of time for a good jam session - which means two music lovers sharing in a communal experience together and learning alongside one another!

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