My name is Stephen Riley, and I am a traveling music and English teacher. Along with my wife, Annelisa Riley, I have been working for the past two years to hone in on what makes the English language easy for some and hard for others.
After working in China for a year teaching English to students ranging from age 1-12, Annelisa and I began dreaming and scheming of ways to improve the process of learning English while having a lot of fun.
Both Annelisa and I have been deeply moved by music and involved in the creation of music from early in life. Now, we believe we have found a way of teaching that speaks for both us as teachers and you as students. Everyone loves music, and everyone needs to communicate to have long-term success.
Our curriculum uses classic folk music and contemporary songs to bring the student deeper into the English language. By focusing on the poetic lyrics of folk music, we are able to bring the student a more compulsory understanding of how to form sentences and adequately express themselves. Then we begin working with the student on learning to play some of these songs, focusing on guitar chords, strumming patterns, and for the more experienced students, harmonica playing.
Finally, we work with the student to create an original piece of music in English that they can be proud to call their own work of art.
Riley School of American Folk Music is not just about learning to speak the English language. It is about learning to create.