After the departure of Ms. Glenda Ottens to a new teaching position in the interior, Riverside welcomed Ms. Sharon Ipe in September as the new music teacher. With the professional and educational experience that Mrs. Ipe has, students and the school can look forward to new and exciting events.
Ipe came to Riverside from Castle Park Elementary, and she is excited to be at the school and share some of her thought about her new role at the school. “I love being here. Everybody is so friendly. I can tell it is a really special community you have here,” said Ipe.
Ipe has plenty of teaching experience before coming to Riverside; she taught in Los Angeles at the African Home School District and Castle Park Elementary in Port Coquitlam, to name a few. Ipe has a passion for and a long history with music; she started playing the violin at the age of four, she went on to perform in multiple bands, she sang in a vocal jazz choir, performed musical theatre, and played in the Vancouver youth orchestra system. With all her experience, she is now is excited to pass on her wisdom of musical arts to her high school students, who, commented Ipe, are at an important stage of their lives.
“I love the high level of music in high schools. That’s a huge thing. I was looking forward to connecting to students that are at that stage of their life that maybe need some direction of where to go and how to continue their learning in the arts after high school,” said Ipe.
Ipe has many goals for the program at Riverside, such as growing the choir and music program. It is Ipe’s intention to get students engaged in something and bring them together, and her hope is to encourage students in the younger grades to join the music program as well.
“Anybody can join. I especially encourage the ninth and tenth graders who are newer to the school and might not have a larger friendship group or connection yet. The music program is a great way to get to know people and singing during these difficult times of COVID-19 is something that everybody really needs right now,” said Ipe.
With safety protocols in place, Ipe is planning things such as little field trips and spaced-out concerts. Ipe’s first challenge was the taped video performance of her students singing for the Remembrance day ceremony. Other performances will follow but less than years past. “Since these opportunities are limited, students do have more time on their hands to record their music and try to analyze it for a project, which will help them to further improve their musical abilities to bring a better quality of music to the school,” said Ipe. During the isolation of COVID-19 times, Ipe feels it is especially important to grab the students’ interests and get them engaged and thinking.
Music is something that helps bring people together. It will help further unite Riverside as a school in a safe and spaced out manner. The school is happy and excited to see where Ipe will take the program.