New Student Information

Welcome to the Riley School community! Be sure to download our


  • If you are the parent of a first time younger student, please contact the class instructor for proper placement before registering your child. Instructor emails are listed on our Contact Page.
  • Riley School requires a Registration/Release Form for students under the age of 18. Please print this form and bring a completed copy with you on the first day of classes.

Instrument Rentals

Riley School has a limited number of instruments for rent. Please see our Instrument Rental Page for complete information on available instruments and rental policies.

If you are a new harp student and you plan to rent a harp, it is essential that you contact us prior to the first day of classes so we can arrange to have your harp ready for you to play. Please contact before registering.

Classes and Syllabus

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

Grace United Methodist Church
2221 Slane Avenue
Norwood, OH

These general descriptions apply primarily to melody instruments. Traditional singing and accompanying instruments like bodhran, guitar, harp, and piano will have somewhat different descriptions.
Please see the individual descriptions for each class for more details.

Starter: Certain instruments (fiddle, harp) offer starter sections for those who are new to the instrument. These classes cover starting technique and care of the instrument and serve as an introduction to Irish music. Depending on skills recognized or obtained, students may move up to Beginner classes sometime during the quarter.

Beginner: These classes are for those who are new to the instrument or have limited skills. Note that some instruments will have "Starter" classes due to the nature of the instrument. Students will become familiar with their instruments and will learn to play simpler Irish tunes by ear at slower speeds; tunes that are taught may not be on the tune list for the quarter but may be in the Riley 'Common Core'. Students will learn about the different types of traditional Irish tunes.

Intermediate: Students should have previously been in a Beginner class (or the equivalent in outside private lessons) or have played the instrument for some time in Irish or related styles. Students will continue to learn tunes by ear, with a focus on the current quarter's tune list. Students will learn to play at faster tempos and begin to learn Irish ornamentation and style.

Advanced: These classes are for those who are quite familiar with their instrument and Irish music. Tunes will be taught with the goal of attaining playing them at 'Riley Speed', which can be heard by listening to the tunes on the website. There will be continued emphasis on ornamentation and style, using the current quarter's tune list.

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. Students attend small group classes and all are encouraged to join one of our ensemble groups which meet immediately following lunch. These include Kids Band, Teen Band, Ceili Band, or Slow GEL for beginners. We also have several adult ensembles which often play at internal or external events. Some students may receive a one-on-one 30 minute private lesson instead of the group class, but only if there is a need and it is agreed to by the instructor, and if time and room are available.

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

A set of Common Core tunes, as well as tunes to be learned during each quarter are posted to the website and there is a search facility available for the music archive. Anyone unable to download the tunes may request a CD from the school. We encourage students to download the files or listen to the CD and become as familiar as possible with the tunes by ear. The tunes are then taught slowly in class, along with style, ornamentation and phrasing.

Tuition and Payment Policies

Tuition for 10 weeks is $220 if you register by the registration cutoff date, which is seven days before the first class. We offer reduced prices for multiple registrations for a single student or for multiple students in the same family as follows:

  • a 10% reduction for the second class
  • a 20% reduction for the third class
  • a special Family Plan rate of $30 for any additional classes

If you register after the cutoff date, there is a $30 late fee for each class.
Late registration for the first class is $250.

With our increased enrollment the last couple of years, we have still been getting about a third of our registrations on the first day of class, many for returning students. Having so many late registrants show up that first day makes it quite difficult to plan and schedule. We strongly urge you to register before the cutoff date as it makes it easier to arrange classes and times in addition to saving you money. Remember that our registration team members take classes and teach as well.

Still have questions?

For more information:

  • Call the school at (513) 549-3780
  • Send email to
  • Visit our Contact Page to send an email to a specific instructor

  • For additions or corrections to the website, please send email to .