Mike Risko School of Music is in tune with the Westchester community
Photo courtesy of Mike Risko School of Music
Ossining School of Music has just been nationally acclaimed for its pandemic awareness programs and dedication to local education.
Despite a pandemic that has hit the arts harder than many industries, the Mike Risko Music School in Ossining has not slowed down its dedication to its students or community.
“Even though we had to lock the door, we didn’t turn off the lights,” says Miriam Risko.
While wearing masks and being six feet apart was the new normal, Mike and Miriam were building ways to keep up the pace. The two worked with the Ossining Library to create Sung Telegrams to help keep the library afloat. The duo also spent Mother’s Day going from room to room in nursing homes to provide residents with some musical joy. “You have to give back and bring people together,” says Miriam.
Miriam and Mike’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Mike Risko Music School recently received an award from the National Association of Music Merchants, named “Best Community Retail Store”. He was also a finalist in the “Music Makes the Difference”, “Best Customer Service” and “Best Selling and Marketing” categories.
With their music school, Mike and Miriam Risko taught children who are just starting their instrumental journeys, as well as adults who have rock star dreams, and sold music equipment, including instruments and amps.
The Riskos say it is rewarding to enrich generations of musicians and energize their community in ways they feel are useful and meaningful. “These are all people we’ve taught and are now bringing their children to us,” says Miriam. “It has become surreal.”
The Risko’s love for sharing music with the masses dates back 25 years when they co-starred in a rock band.
“My mother used to say that I would sing before I could speak,” jokes Miriam, who teaches voice and piano. Mike, who was teaching private guitar lessons before Miriam decided to join him and expand their reach, attributes his love of music to listening to his grandfather’s old radio with headphones. He says he was fascinated by the way the dials affected the music. From that moment on he knew that this beauty and art was something he needed to share with the people around him.