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education philosophy

  • Ensemble music as a vehicle for teaching citizenry skills

    • The actions and preparations of one individual impact all other individuals

    • Realization of and reflection on action/consequence, both positive and negative, in real time

    • Hard work benefits not only the individual, but all other individuals in ensemble

    • Hard work by all individuals according to their ability results in shared progress

  • “Good people first, good music second”

    • Fostering a sense of moral responsibility in and out of the classroom

    • Development of an inclusive and welcoming environment that lays the foundation for the success of every student

      • This can be implemented through leadership structures, pairing freshmen with selected upperclassmen in partnership programs, etc.

    • If a positive environment is fostered for students and by students, success is given room to propagate

  •  Achievement in music

    • Allow for a level of friendly competition, in which students rely on each other as a driving force for encouraging one another’s improvement

    • Provide holistic music education, through which students are constantly refining technique, musicality, and understanding of theory, history, and aural skills

    • Prompt students to think critically about their playing/singing. Instead of telling them “you’re sharp”, for example, ask “do you think you’re sharp or flat?” and help them find the right answer, then continue to ask guiding questions that allow them to come up with their own corrections to their technique

  • Mental health and mindfulness

    • Dedicate a small portion of class time to mindfulness based stress reduction

      • Mindfulness defined as the ability to “respond skillfully to mental processes that contribute to emotional distress” (Bishop, Lau, Shapiro, Carlson, Anderson, Carmody, Devins, 2004)

    • Guided breathing meditation for amounts of time as small as five minutes, can lead to a significant reduction in anxiety (Mayorga, De Vries, Wardle, 2016)

    • Reduced anxiety results in better music making

      • Enhanced concentration and mindfulness (silent illumination) may enable musicians to channel performance anxiety to improve musical performance, or decrease levels of performance anxiety all together (Lin, Chang, Zemon, Midlarsky, 2008)


Teaching Experience

Rockwood School District
Jan 2021-Jun 2021

Post graduation, Rieger served as a classroom assistant at Rockwood Summit High School. Due to frequent changes in schedule as the district moved from virtual to in-person classes, the final schedule for the second semester caused a conflict where a teacher was needed to cover a music class. Rieger taught or assisted with the following classes:

  • Concert Band/Symphonic Band Percussion, third quarter (lead)

  • Concert Band/Symphonic Band Winds, fourth quarter (lead)

  • Wind Ensemble Winds, third and fourth quarter

Lindbergh School District
Aug 2020-Dec 2020

As part of his Master of Arts in Education, Rieger interned as a student teacher with the Lindbergh School District, working with the 6th-12th graders at Sperreng Middle School, Truman Middle School, and Lindbergh High School. Specifically, Rieger co-taught the following age groups and classes:

  • Beginning Trumpets (6), first and second quarter, virtual and in-person

  • Beginning Percussion (6), first and second quarter, virtual and in-person

  • Mixed Woodwinds (7), first quarter, virtual

  • Mixed Brass (7), first and second quarter, virtual and in-person

  • Freshman Non-Marching Band (9), first quarter, virtual

  • Marching Band (9-12), first quarter, virtual and in-person

  • Freshman Band (9), second quarter, in-person

  • Symphonic Band (10-12), second quarter, in-person

Given the peculiar nature of the Fall 2020 semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rieger taught a combination of virtual and in-person classes, and also had the chance to work alongside the Lindbergh staff as they switched to using the Essential Elements method series. This switch was made predominantly to gain access to the online resources available through Essential Elements Interactive, giving Rieger first-hand experience with using new music technology and the assignment selection process.

Truman State University
Aug 2018-May 2020

While studying conducting, Rieger served as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant at Truman State University. This position consisted of co-administrating all of the athletic and concert bands at the university, and teaching, co-teaching, and/or conducting the following courses or activities: 

  • Wind Symphony I 

  • Wind Symphony II

  • Marching Band

  • Concert Band

  • Basketball Band/Pep Band

Rieger additionally taught and prepared an hour's worth of music for his graduate conducting recital, working with Wind Symphonies I and II, the saxophone studio, and Uncommon Practice (the university's contemporary music ensemble). Though this in-person recital was canceled in response to the COVID-19, an impromptu virtual recital was given using prerecorded music. More about this digital recital can be found

Kirksville School District
Jan 2016-May 2016
Aug 2019-Dec 2019

During his time at Truman State University, Rieger worked with Rebecca Murphy at William Matthew Middle School for 60+ hours, gaining experience outside of his familiar field of band. Additionally, he worked with the Early Childhood Learning Center, preparing 15 weekly music lessons for students ages 3-4. Between these experiences, Rieger taught or co-taught the following courses:

  • 8th Grade Choir

  • 7th Grade General Music

  • Pre-K Music

Lindbergh School District
Summer 2019

The Lindbergh Band Program runs a college intern program, headed by Brian Wyss, in which students pursuing music education spend several weeks working alongside the Lindbergh staff to host a band camp for students who will enter the sixth grade in the next academic school year. The camp is scheduled to where interns work with two separate groups of beginners, and then discuss the field of music education with Wyss. While interning, Rieger gained experience with the following groups:


  • Beginning Clarinets

  • Beginning Percussion

Rieger has recently begun clinicing, where seeks to engage in experiences and discussions with students based around the fundamentals of good musicianship, the role of the modern musician in society, and how an individual can navigate and shape their own creative experiences. Through his clinics, he also seeks to encourage students to become lifelong musicians, continuing to play their instrument or sing after high school, regardless of their career path or the intensity of their musical study.

Lees Summit School District
April 2020

In a speaker series for his students at Bernard Campbell Middle School, band director Christian Pierce hosted live-streamed interviews with various professionals in the field of music. With a focus on composition, Pierce and Rieger discussed what goes into writing a piece of music, how to get started in composing, and how being a composer can link into the other parts of a person's musical life.

Kirkwood School District
Feb 2019

After being commissioned to write a custom arrangement of The Hymn of Acxiom for Kirkwood High School's Woodwind Chamber Ensemble, Rieger video-called into rehearsals to provide feedback on the group's interpretation of the work leading up to their performance. Rieger also traveled to the St. Louis area to conduct the ensemble in-concert, and give a same-day clinic beforehand.

Kirkwood School District
Summer 2018

Over the course of several lessons, Rieger coached Kirkwood High School's four drum majors, aiding in the development of proper technique, and helping to guide interpretation and expression. Rieger drew upon his experience as a collegiate drum major, and his days as drum major when he was a student at Kirkwood.

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