Dr. Joseph A. Whelan Elementary School

1440 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 02904
Phone: (401) 233-1180  |  Fax: (401) 353-1465

Principal: Mrs. Amanda Donovan 

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Classes at Whelan can be music to our ears. At the elementary level, students are exposed to music theory, music concepts including rhythm, harmony, and melody, and how sound can create an environment all its own. Students experiment with music individually, in small groups, and as part of a larger performing crew.

Music has no bounds, and students start to realize that they can create music with the simplest objects, by tapping their feet, clapping, or learning a new musical piece taught by our inspirational instructors. At Whelan, students begin to notice their own musical talents, and celebrate music they make together with their peers.

Early Risers Elementary Enrichment Program

Dear North Providence Families, The North Providence School Department is proud to offer a music program that will enable your child to learn to play a band instrument.

All children in grades 4 and 5 at all six elementary schools are eligible to enroll in a before school music enrichment program. This year the district will offer before school instrumental band instruction for the following; percussion, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and trombone.

Why Learn to Play an Instrument ? Apart from the pleasure of being able to make music and perform with others, research shows that learning to play an instrument has the following benefits:

  • Life Skills: Teamwork, social interaction, coordination, increased confidence
  • Learning Skills: Independent learning and responsibility for own progress
  • Self-Evaluation and goal setting
  • Music engages both brain hemispheres, balancing brain function
  • Enhanced spatial reasoning
  • Learning to play an instrument directly contributes to skills in other academic areas.
  • A musically tuned brain learns better

Teachers expect students to have their instruments set up and to be ready to play at 8:00 am. Teachers and volunteers will be on hand to assist students with instrument set up. Band instruction is offered free of charge however parents are responsible for band rental fees and a music book.

A limited amount of rental scholarships are available. Please speak to one of our band instructors for information. Details regarding band rentals is included in this informational packet.

Costs and  Instrument Rental Night: A music method book entitled Essential Elements will need to be purchased for about $10. Also, each child will need to have an instrument to use for the program . Although you may choose to rent or buy an instrument at any store, we are working with Roberts Musical Instruments because of their good reputation, honesty, and customer service.

At this time, parents will be able to rent an instrument and purchase the lesson book.

Mr. Richards and Mr. Martin, the music teachers for the program will be in attendance to answer any questions. Instrument Rental and Buying Advice: There are many brands of instruments on the market today.

Unfortunately, many of the instruments that are attractively priced are sometimes unserviceable in most repair shops. In many cases, repair facilities do not have the parts and cannot find the manufacturer to order parts. In other cases these instruments are in need of repair more than they are in working condition. These instruments lead to a lot of frustration for students and parents. In order for your child to get a good start on the instrument, we highly recommend that you rent your instrument from a local music store that can provide in-house warranty and repair service. Teachers: Steven Richards, Anthony Martin, and Anthony Torelli are all certified music educators employed by the North Providence School Department. They are both assigned to elementary schools in our district.

You can reach the teachers if you have any questions via email:

Music Teacher

Mr. Steven Richards
Mr. Richards’ Website