Dr. Tappan grew up in several Midwestern states, but claims Kansas as home. Music played a large role in his upbringing and he began playing the organ for Holy Mass in the 6th grade. He attended Benedictine College (2004) in Atchison, KS, earning degrees in Theology and Music, studying organ under Fr. Blaine Schultz, O.S.B. and Ruth Krusemark. He earned his MM in Church Music (organ Performance) in 2009 from the University of Kansas, and in 2014 completed his DMA in Church Music (choral conducting) at the same institution. His teachers there included Michael Bauer (organ), James Higdon (organ) and Paul Tucker (choral conducting).
In 2011 he began the Most Pure Heart of Mary Schola Cantorum (choir school) at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Topeka, KS. The Schola Cantorum is a music program for adults and children in the European cathedral tradition that promotes the musical and spiritual formation of its members within the context of the Roman Catholic Liturgy, forming Christians for the lifelong praise and worship of God. Members learn about healthy vocal production, expressive singing, sight-singing and ear-training, and liturgical music, especially Gregorian chant, with optional studies in the art of organ playing. The Schola Cantorum sings regularly for Holy Mass and concerts.
In the autumn of 2012 he was privileged to spend six weeks observing at the Madeleine Choir School at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah, procuring material for his doctoral document on the history of this choir school. His education has also furthered the mission of his own choral foundation in Topeka, KS.