Orff specialist Roger Sams has been selected for the 2015 Gretchen French Visiting Artist Series in Music at Ashland University. Mr. Sams will visit Ashland University on April 12 to 14 to present four workshops each focusing on a different music classroom setting. All of the workshops are free and open to the public and will be held in Room 242 in the Center for the Arts (formerly known as the Arts & Humanities Building).
The first workshop title "The Artful Music Classroom" is scheduled on Sunday, April 12 at 6:30 p.m. and will focus on primary grades. On Monday, April 13 at 10 a.m., he will present a workshop on using improvisation in elementary general music; and at 3:30 p.m. he will return to "The Artful Music Classroom" but focus on middle and upper elementary grades. His visit will conclude with a composition in elementary general music workshop at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14.
Roger Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after 31 years of teaching music in public and private schools. He has served as adjunct faculty teaching methods courses and supervising student teachers at Cleveland State University. He also has been on the faculty in teacher education programs at the University of St. Thomas, Cleveland State University, Akron University, the University of Montana, University of Missouri-St. Louis and other venues throughout the US.
Roger is a regular presenter at state, regional, and national conferences, has served on the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) National Board of Trustees, and has worked with teachers in Canada, China, Indonesia and India. He currently serves as Director of Publications and Music Education Consultant at Music is Elementary. He is the co-author of “Purposeful Pathways: Possibilities for the Elementary Music Classroom” with Beth Ann Hepburn. He has published works for children’s choirs in the “Crooked River Choral Project” series and a collection of rounds and partner songs entitled, “A Round My Heart.”
Trained in Gestalt therapy, Roger is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process, teaching, and life. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University.
The Gretchen French Endowed Visiting Artist Series at Ashland University was established through a bequest from the estate of Gretchen French. Although Ms. French never attended Ashland University, it was through close friends and alums, Phillip (‘53) and Jean (‘55) Lersch, that she decided Ashland was well suited to demonstrate in perpetuity her values and hopes for young people. Her entire life was dedicated to people, placing others' needs before her's by unselfishly serving them, in particular her family and many, many young musicians. This is a fitting tribute to her and will be a continual reminder of her love not only of music but most importantly people.
The goal of the Series is to provide Ashland University students close contact and mentoring with an outstanding visiting musician/music teacher. The particular field of expertise for the Series will vary from year to year. It is a goal of the Series to find Visiting Artists that have the widest possible expertise and appeal to students in various areas of music study.