Classes and Syllabus

In-person classes are held on Saturdays, beginning at 9:00 am at :
students practicing

Grace United Methodist Church
2221 Slane Avenue
Norwood, OH

Classes are taught on a quarterly basis, with Fall quarter (starting in September) and Winter quarter (starting in January) being 10 weeks long. We typically adjust the Spring quarter (starting in March) to 7 or 8 weeks, with tuition prorated accordingly, so that we finish before Memorial Day.

Dates for the 2024-25 school year are -
Fall Quarter : 7 SEP - 9 NOV
Winter Quarter : 4 JAN - 8 MAR
Spring Quarter : 22 MAR - 3 MAY
Registration generally opens about a month before classes begin.

Please see our Class Schedule Page for current quarter classes and times.

Students generally attend small group classes. Some students may receive a one-on-one 30 minute private lesson instead of the group class, but only if there is a need, it is agreed to by the instructor, and time and room are available. Participation in one of our ensemble groups which meet immediately following lunch is also included in your tuition. We strongly encourage you to join the group that meets your interests and skill level.

Bands, Ensembles and Slow Sessions

Irish music is social music and we encourage everyone to participate in a band from 12:30-1:30 every Saturday. Bands are free if you are currently or formerly enrolled at the Riley School. Contact the band leaders listed with questions. Current band opportunities are:

  • Kids Band - Danny Blair - Everyone under 18 is encouraged to participate.
  • Adult Intermediate Session - Tim Clarke - Focus on upping the tempo; all are welcome.
  • Adult Session - Patti Walker - A more relaxed tempo and some music theory; all are welcome.
  • Adult Ensemble - Kathy Schneider - Less traditional arrangements of tunes and some accompanied singing, upon occasion. All levels welcome. Occasional performances at festivals, church suppers, senior living communities and Riley's own Peace and Merriment concert.
  • Céilí Band - Rick Boyce - Advanced players and tunes at dance speed. The Céilí Band regularly plays for contra and céilí dances. Please talk to Rick if you are interested.
  • Beginner Session - Slow tempos for beginning players - currently on hiatus but please ask if you are interested and we will find a leader.

The Common Core Tunes are meant to provide a set of tunes that everyone knows and can play with other Riley School students. Please make it a point to learn these tunes, so you can join in at community sessions. When people are waiting between classes or before lunch, they often participate in the informal multi-aged session in Fellowship Hall. You can also sit at a table with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and grade papers, do your homework, or read a book.

Bands generally play a "core curriculum", as well as tunes from the current term and the Riley archive. When any of our bands perform outside the school, it is so that our students can gain valuable performance experience. The school receives any money earned. Bands whose names do not contain the Riley name are welcome to keep any money they earn from performances. Some Riley-affiliated bands are listed on the Community Band Profiles page.

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