Workshop: songwriting and music as learning tools

DUMMERSTON — Jerry Appell, a resident of town and founder and artistic director of Rock in the Classroom, is offering a workshop entitled “Creating Educational Songs and Music Videos” at the Brooks Memorial Library Meeting Room on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 1 p.m.

The goal of this workshop is to help educators and home-school families discover a variety of ways to use songwriting and music as learning tools for students of all ages. It is free and open to the public.

Appell created Rock in the Classroom in 2008 after receiving a grant from Antioch University to produce a series of educational songs. Since then, he has enlisted the help of artists and musicians from the southern New England region to produce educational songs and music videos.

Over the past seven years, Rock in the Classroom songs have been used for a wide variety of educational applications. College and high school curricula have used the program's music videos as part of presentations on topics such as Manifest Destiny in American history and the role of women in American literature.

Unlike most educational music geared toward children, Rock in the Classroom directs its songs toward high school and college students and adult lifelong learners.

Through Rock in the Classroom Appell conducts songwriting workshops for educators throughout the school year, produces customized songs for non-profit organizations, and offers an online song encyclopedia where educators can search for songs through a topic database.

Appell also is collaborating with therapist Holiday Eames on Music Box Therapy, a series of therapeutic songs for children suffering from various forms of trauma.

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