Riverside School Music Program
Band – Our band coordinator, Mr. David Arezzini, invites all students in grades 4 and 5 to join the band! He conducts half hour lessons 2 days per week. These lessons rotate so students do not miss the same academic subject each week. The band performs at our two annual concerts and also at our very special community events such as Flag Day and Veteran’s Day.
Orchestra- Under the direction of Mr. Barry Hoffman, students have several opportunities to play a string instrument. Students may join in grade 3 as weekly lessons are provided to any child who is willing to practice and attend these half hour lessons. Mr. Hoffman schedules an annual concert for these young musicians.
Any student in grades 4 and 5 can continue and/or join the orchestra. Two weekly lessons are provided and at least two recitals are scheduled to showcase the progress of these students. When possible the orchestra will travel off campus to perform in local venues.
Rentals- Information regarding instrument rental is available from the music department.
Chorus- Ms. Jessica Punchatz, is our general music teacher. She also serves as the choral director for our wonderful chorus. Over 90 voices are currently involved in the program. The choral experience is open to any child in grades 4 and 5. Students are divided into two voice parts, and each part rehearses once a week, and recitals are conducted twice a year. The chorus performs at community events both on and off campus. They bring joy and cheer to senior residences at Nathaniel Witherall, and bring holiday cheer to the Town of Greenwich, when they perform at the Greenwich Holiday Walk on Greenwich Avenue. They also sing at Sound Tigers' Hockey Games and collaborate with the Reaching for the Arts Choir in New York City. This collaborative opportunity fosters team work and readies students for the exemplary choral programs at middle and high school.
We hope your child will take advantage of these great opportunities. Our highly qualified teachers, all musicians in their own right, nurture and develop the skills and disciplines needed to enhance a child’s love of music.
Introducing "Genius Hour"...
As part of our theme of Innovation, we introduced to students our very first "Genius Hour" in every classroom of the school. "Genius Hour" is a movement that allows students to explore their passions and interests and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn. It is primarily student directed, not teacher directed. Genius Hour will be held on Fridays two times a month throughout the year for an hour near the end of the day.
Teachers showed students a TouchCast video presentation and some supporting videos on the idea of Genius Hour and what it entails. They also got a chance to brainstorm possible ideas they might like to pursue over the next few months during the Genius Hour time at school. Ask them what ideas they discussed.
During our next Genius Hour students can decide on what type of topic and driving question they would like to research and explore during this time. You can also discuss ideas with your child and review the videos. Below are the links with more information. We will share more about Genius Hour with you soon.
"Genius Hour Part 1" on TouchCast
"Genius Hour Part 2" on TouchCast
"Genius Hour Part 3"
Our goal for Genius Hour: To allow students to develop their own independent area of learning and discovery.
The three Genius Hour requirements for students:
1) Have a driving question
2) Involve research
3) Be shared with the the class/school/others
Riverside Rangers - This leadership opportunity is a direct outgrowth of our ROPES social emotional learning program. Students in grade 5 are trained to be leaders in the fall of their 5th grade year. Students serve as activity leaders for special events (e.g., book fairs & assemblies). Rangers serve as greeters every morning, welcoming students as they enter the school. Rangers also facilitate morning meeting in 3rd grade classrooms. We are constantly looking for ways to encourage school-community leadership among our students and develop the norm Caring for Self and Others through peer interactions.
The Riverside Reporter newspaper publicizes a variety of school events from the students’ point of view. It is an integral part of the Riverside School community where students in grade 5 visit classrooms to cover live events. Reporters develop their investigative skills and fine tune their writing techniques.
Being a Riverside Reporter involves multiple skills. Reporters learn how to include the different elements of news reports into their articles including impactful headlines, paragraphs, leads and captions. To warm up their writing skills, reporters learn the value of using effective vocabulary. They revise dull reports with stronger verbs, adverbs and adjectives. Training is included on how to ask open-ended questions when interviewing students and teachers. Reporters become experts on how to accurately and reliably quote their sources, and learn how to respond to constructive feedback in a timely manner. Participating in Riverside Reporter enables students to deepen their collaboration skills, and is an rewarding experience for dedicated writers.