Sally Rogers is no ordinary public school music teacher. A master teaching arist with over 25 years’ experience . . . she is a firm believer in integrating curriculum through the arts. She has worked in the public schools across the nation and has seen how struggling students are transformed by the introduction of arts-based learning, bringing new meaning to their studies.
From 2001 to 2010 she taught music to grades PK-4 at Pomfret Community School in CT. While at PCS Sally and her Principal wrote a grant, transforming PCS into one of the state’s 26 “HOT Schools.” She also developed an annual Cultural Arts Program, where the entire school annually studied one country in depth, through research projects, artist visits and cultural exchanges. This program continued for 18 years, building community and creating a more culturally tolerant student body. She also established a daily “Morning Sing”, and a monthly “All-School Sing” to build school community. In 2010, Sally was awarded the Prudence Crandall Memorial Award by the CEA Human & Civil Rights Commission for her work designing the Cultural Arts program.
During the 2010-11 school year, Rogers worked with Dr. Susan Snyder of Arts Education Ideas . Working in Bridgeport, in some of Connecticut’s most disadvantaged schools, she trained teachers in a pilot arts-based literacy program called The Total Learning Initiative. There, Rogers modeled the use of twenty arts-based strategies in K-1 classrooms and then assisted teachers in planning their own lessons using the strategies.
Sally is currently developing an innovative music program at the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School in Hadley, Massachusetts, teaching K-2 general music. Sally has an abiding interest in Chinese culture. She was invited to perform at the Nanning International Folk Festival in 2000. In 2004, the Connecticut State Department of Education asked her to join a delegation traveling to Shandong Province, on an educational exchange. Sally is determined to learn to speak Mandarin, having already mastered Portuguese, Swiss German and French. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to teach at PVCICS.
In addition, Sally is an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is teaching the Multiple Perspectives through Music course in Lesley’s Creative Arts in Learning Masters Degree program. Rogers received her Masters Degree in this program in 2007.
Rogers currently serves as a Master Teaching Artist for the Connecticut Office of the Arts. She has worked in their HOT Schools program since 1997 as an artist-in-residence. Her residencies have included teaching students how to collect oral histories and transform them into songs. She and her students have produced three CD compilations of local historical songs. Her residencies cover most curricular areas, from science to language arts, and from math to music. She is also available for professional development workshops and keynote presentations through Young Audiences of Connecticut.
Rogers is past president of the Children’s Music Network , an organization that brings together all those who work with children: teachers, performers, songwriters, pre-school providers, health care workers, parents, and kids themselves. She has found this network to be an invaluable resource for great songs, teaching ideas and philosophical discussions.