Meet Our Team

Paul Reisler (Founder and Artistic Director) is a composer, songwriter, recording artists, performer and teacher. He’s the founder and artistic director of Kid Pan Alley, co-founder of Trapezoid, as well as his current bands, Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions featuring Howard Levy, and Three Good Reasons. Over the past 45 years, he’s performed in over 3,000 concerts, recorded close to three-dozen albums, co-wrote Aesop’s Fables for Orchestra and Narrator, as well as the script and songs for two musicals Bouncin’ and The Talented Clementine.

Paul has written more songs than the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Stephen Foster combined—somewhere north of 3,500 compositions.  Certainly, his 65,000 short collaborators as well a handful of Grammy-winning co-writers have helped. Artists including Sissy Spacek, Raul Malo, Darrell Scott, Cracker, Corey Harris, Jesse Winchester and many others have recorded his songs.

He’s one of the most popular songwriting teachers in the country and has taught at workshops and songwriting schools including Rocky Mountain Song School, Utah Song School, New Song Academy, Swannanoa Gathering, Augusta Workshop, Hollyhock, Kerrville, NSAI, Songcamp in the Mountains, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Berklee College of Music, University of the Pacific, and Moulin a Nef (France).

Cheryl Reisler (Grants & Education Specialist) loves to sing. When she started school, her ability to sing harmony landed her invitations to join her first choir at the age of 9. This passion led to earning a bachelors and master degree in music education.

Cheryl is an avid music educator. She believes in the creative process integrating voice, movement, improvisation and instrumentation as a means of inspiration and discovery. She started her professional career as an elementary school music teacher. This led to a position supervising the elementary music program for 136 schools for the Fairfax County Public School district. Then she served as an elementary school principal for 8 years before joining Kid Pan Alley.

Her experience includes teaching preschool students with special needs through high school.  She has served coordinator of the All County Choral Festival for 900 voices and assistant conductor for the George Mason Symphonic Chorus.  She has performed with the Symphonic Chorus at the Philharmonic in Koln, Germany.

Ryan Benyo (Director of Music and Technology) is a Los Angeles based record producer, songwriter and pianist. He got his start in music at an early age studying Classical and Jazz piano in his hometown in Virginia which flourished into a passion for songwriting and music production. After working with Kid Pan Alley’s Paul Reisler, Ryan decided to peruse a career in music full-time and went on to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston and he received a B.S. in Music Production from McNally Smith College of Music in Saint Paul, MN in 2012.

With an electric taste in music, Ryan has worked with a variety of artists including Parachute, Sheppard, Baker Grace, Alberta Cross, Through Fire, Vusi Mahlasela, Caro Emerald, Lisa Loeb, and Owen Danoff. He has also released 6 solo albums as an independent artist.

As the Director of Music and Technology for Kid Pan Alley, Ryan’s focus is on the recording, development and marketing of our growing catalog of songs, as well as to aid in music and entertainment industry relations on the west coast.

Teaching Artists

Justin Roth

Justin Roth is a nationally touring singer/songwriter and fingerstyle acoustic guitarist based in Colorado who combines his indie folk sensibilities over a bed of brilliantly inventive guitar technique. He has toured with John Gorka and David Wilcox, and opened for some of folk music’s finest singer/songwriters, including Shawn Colvin, Martin Sexton, Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) and Darrell Scott. In the guitar world, he has shared stages with some of the greatest fingerstyle players of today, such as Tommy Emmanuel, Andy McKee, and Billy McLaughlin. Roth’s fan-funded fourth solo album, Now You Know, was voted as one of the Top 100 Folk Albums of 2011.



Natalia Zukerman

Natalia Zukerman is a musician, painter and educator who grew up in a very musical family in New York City. The daughter of classical music royalty, Pinchas and Eugenia Zukerman, one could say that music courses through her veins.  She’s released eight albums and has toured internationally as a solo performer since 2005 and performed, opened for and recorded with some of Folk music’s greatest legends including Janis Ian, Holly Near, Tom Paxton, Ani DiFranco, Richard Thompson, Susan Werner.





Teaching Assistants

Emma Sloniker

Emma Sloniker is a vocalist from Fort Collins, CO. Raised in a musical family, she was purportedly singing long before she could talk, and was exposed to a variety of genres that inform her style and tastes to this day: from folk, to jazz, bluegrass, and musical theatre. Performing jazz and blues since 2013, her band ThreeShots is a local staple on the Northern Front Range and regularly features on local favorites lists. This year alone they competed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and opened the Greeley Blues Jam for headliners Tab Benoit, Matt Anderson, Carolyn Wonderland, and Southern Avenue.