Riffenburgh Elementary School

1320 East Stuart Street Fort Collins CO 80525
Principal: Melanie Mierzwa
Phone:(970) 488-7935 Fax:(970) 488-7937 Attendance: (970) 488-7936

Mrs. Alli Tjossem

Mrs. Alli Tjossem's picture
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About Me
How many years have you been doing your job? How many years at Riffenburgh?: 

This is my fourth year teaching! I student taught in the district in the fall of 2015 at Riffenburgh & Kinard Middle School and it didn't take long for me to realize what a special place this is. I absolutely loved my first three years at Riffenburgh and I am so excited to begin year number 4 with these wonderful students.  

What I love most about teaching is…: 

I love the students! I have the following quote on a poster outside my classroom and I think it sums up very well my outlook on music education & that it ties in beautifully with the IB curriculum.


Not because I expect you to major in music.
Not because I expect you to sing or play all your life.
Not so you can relax.

So you will be human
So you will recognize beauty
So you will be sensitive
So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
So you will have something to cling to
So you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good... in short, more life.

Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?


My favorite children's book or author is...: 

Mortimer, by Robert Munsch. Mortimer is the story of a young boy who doesn't want to go to sleep and keeps running up and down the stairs at home and singing a silly song. It's a great book to explore our high & low voices as we match the "thump thump" of Mortimer running up and down the stairs. I also have a very catchy song that goes along with Mortimer's! The students love this silly book and the music we join to the text.

My hometown is...: 

Decorah, IA. I also attended Luther College there, a liberal arts school where over half of the student body is involved in music on campus!

My Interests & Hobbies include...: 

My family! My husband and I recently welcomed a son, Henrik, to our little family. We also have a pitbull mix named Britta and a pointer mix named Ole and they are very loved. 

My Classroom
Courses Taught: 

K-5 General Music

Electric Roadrunners: an extra curricular first year Little Kids Rock band focusing on guitar and also exploring vocals, the drum set, the electric bass, and electric guitar. The students help choose the songs we learn.

Riff'n' Rockers: an extracurricular  second year Little Kids Rock band for the students who complete the entire year of Electric Road Runners. We will expand on our skills and the students are able to gravitate towards the instrument that interests them most, while learning more challenging music that the students help choose.

Rockin' Roadrunner Choir: an extracurricular choir of 4th & 5th grade students who love to sing! We will explore singing in unison, 2 prt choral music, and rounds. We will be adding as much instrumental accompainment as the music calls for, and the students will have an imput on the pieces we choose to learn.  

About My Classroom: 

My classroom is informed by Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze music methodologies. We will be doing lots of singing, playing of different instruments, including world drums, ukuleles, guitars, xylophones, and non pitched percussion instruments. We will also be moving to music in various ways. It is a student centered classroom with a focus that shifts depending on what intrigues the students. We will be playing lots of games and having fun everyday! We also use the new district music curriculum, Quaver Music, a web based curriculum with thousands of songs and resources. 3rd-5th grade will get student logins to use at home.