OSSINING, N.Y. – Mike and Miriam Risko teach music and acting classes through a curriculum they designed in their Ossining store. But for the Harvest Festival in Briarcliff Manor, they are bringing a taste of the school to the community.
The Mike Risko Band is to perform from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 13 at the Briarcliff Chamber of Commerce’s Harvest in the Village. In addition to the band’s performance, the Riskos will offer guitar lessons for the community.
“We are community-based, and I don’t think our community is only Ossining,” Miriam Risko said. “We have students from the whole area, whether it’s Briarcliff, Croton or Chappaqua. When you grow up in Westchester, you tend to look at the whole area as your community, not just one town. We want to be a part of the community as much as we can, and we see that as all of Westchester.”
The pair performed throughout Westchester and developed their music program for more than 20 years before moving into their Ossining store at 144 Croton Ave. a few years ago. Today, the Mike Risko Music School employs more than 30 teachers from around New York. The school teaches a wide variety of music lessons, but Mike Risko said the school is open to all skill levels and all age groups.
“We have students as young as 3 years old, and we also have other students who are in their 70s,” Mike Risko said, adding that the school has partnered with the Ossining Children’s Center to teach piano to prekindergarten students. “It’s just like another language, but we’ve developed our curriculum so it parallels what the kids are learning in pre-K. It’s been a really amazing program.”
Prior to developing the piano program in Ossining, the Riskos developed a similar program at their store and at the Garden House Nursery School in Briarcliff Manor.
“We discovered with kids at a young age that if they get involved at a younger age, they really develop this lifelong love of music,” Miriam Risko said. “We also think that it goes a long way into developing other skills as well.”
To sign up for classes or to learn more about the Mike Risko Music School and Store, visit the location at 140 Croton Ave., call 914-762-8757 or visit the Riskos’ website.