Music Program

Music Program

Tonya Anderson (Music, Drama, Private Lessons & Worship Team) has a passion for music. “I have been singing songs since I was three years old. I would sing while playing, sitting, walking, etc. I gave concerts on the piano (they may not have sounded great to my listeners) and danced to my parents’ records.”

“I believe that music and the fine arts are one of the leading ways we can express feelings to God; love, thankfulness, and praise. God made our students’ beautiful creations with gifts and talents that our Fine Arts program enables them to explore with creativity and expression that they otherwise may not know.”

After relocating her family to Yakima from Minnesota, God continued to nudge Tanya toward a teaching position at Riverside. Realizing God wanted her to use her “ingrained love of music for Him,” she accepted a part-time position in 2014. This year, the Fine Arts program expanded, and she is now teaching elementary music, secondary drama, and worship team.

“Each grade level spends time learning solfege, rhythm, world music, movement, composition, form, harmony, melody, reading music, worshipping and playing classroom instruments. We have added a ukulele program for the 5th graders, and they will be performing throughout the year at large chapels, elementary chapels, the Christmas Concert, and our Fine Arts evening in May. The 3rd graders will dive into the world of the recorder, and the 4th graders will continue to develop their recorder skills.”

“I passionately believe that music is our way to give praise to God. I love seeing students discover joy in music and drama.”

Emily East (Music, Private Lessons & Worship Team) loves to teach. “…even at a young age, I found myself trying to teach others about music. As a 3rd or 4th grader, I remember sitting in our living room, giving my older sister piano lessons.” After moving to Yakima from San Diego in 2010, Emily was awed by God “quietly working” on her family’s behalf” to provide a position at Riverside teaching what she loves while her kids attend school.

Mrs. East’s primary role is teaching private music lessons. Through this program, students have access to Piano, Guitar and Vocal instruction during their school day! “We also host two recitals during the school year which gives the kids the chance to perform in an encouraging setting.”

Also, Mrs. East teaches Early Childhood Music, which includes Pre-School Plus, Pre-Kinder and Kindergarten classroom music. Songs, instruments, and fun activities allow students to learn while they “move to the music!”

“I believe that music and the fine arts are one of the leading ways we can express feelings to God; love, thankfulness, and praise. God made our students’ beautiful creations with gifts and talents that our Fine Arts program enables them to explore with creativity and expression that they otherwise may not know.”

Carol Mourey (Band) has been a member of the Riverside faculty for quite some time. She has a knack for teaching kids how to play an instrument. “In each band, we strive to use the ability God gave us to perform music with excellence for His glory.”

The program consists of 4th-grade Beginning Band, 5th-grade Intermediate, and the combined Advanced and Secondary Bands for 6-12th grade. All the bands perform in the Christmas Concert and in January Beginning Band begins to learn six full-length band arrangements for the Yakima Valley Beginning Band Festival. The Advanced and Secondary Bands also perform in the Thanksgiving Praise Chapel and pep band for some basketball games. Some students also perform at the Yakima Valley Music Educators solo and ensemble contest.

We learn to apply our “best effort in performing music.”

Mike Emmans (Science & Guitar) grew up with music and belonged to a band in high school. Mr. Emmans teaches the sciences with the left-side of his brain and then gains refreshment using the right-side during guitar class. “Bach said the purpose of music is for the “Glory of God” and the “refreshment of the soul” and that is “our pursuit in guitar class.” 

This elective class uses the classical guitar method while exploring the “breadth of the guitar” as much as possible. “God’s gift of music is something that is a daily part of our lives. Our PE
program encourages an active life, and our academics encourage us to be lifelong learners. My hope is that the guitar class will encourage us to live musical lives.”

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