COSTA MESA — Sitting in on a second-grade class trying out the xylophone might make one reach for Advil, but not that's not the case in Suzanne Rivera's class at Paularino Elementary School.
With six students poised in front of different sized xylophones, and the rest sitting "criss-cross apple sauce, pepperoni pizza sauce," Rivera challenged them to use their creativity and create their own tunes on the first try.
"I want you to think of your own melody," Rivera told her students. "You're not just coming up to the xylophone and banging it … because that's not music. That's noise, and we want to make music."
Rivera, 30, is the local winner of Barnes & Noble's My Favorite Teacher Contest and will be honored May 7 at the bookseller's Metro Pointe location in Costa Mesa.
The Fountain Valley resident beat out 45 other local teachers and will be recognized with an award, a set of Sterling Children's Classics books, and will go on to compete at the regional level.