Interactive sing-along show

BARLOW-Warren Local Schools students laughed, sang and danced along at the “Dream BIG!” interactive sing-along show with musician Roger Day on Wednesday at Barlow-Vincent Elementary School.

The show is the third installment of the Artists-On-Tour schedule for Artsbridge, an arts service agency that brings art education to the Mid-Ohio Valley through local funding and grants.

Roger Day’s “Dream BIG!” performance at Barlow-Vincent for all of the district’s kindergarten, first and second-graders was the last of the Artsbridge tour, a show jam-packed with original songs for children to sing and dance along to.

“My favorite song was the mosquito burrito song,” said John Wharton, 8. “It’s gross, but maybe if you fry them up, they could be good to eat.”

Day’s show also included songs like “Open up the Coconut” and “It’s a No-No to Kiss a Rhino,” and students from Warren, Little Hocking and Barlow-Vincent elementary schools sang alongside Day to lyrics that encouraged rhyming and creative skills.

Dream Big! is Day’s third full-length CD and show designed for children and families to get children to exercise their minds, bodies and brains.

“I’ve always loved to write and perform songs for kids, and Artsbridge provides that platform to practice my gift,” said Roger Day, who spent 10 years performing at college coffeehouse shows before realizing he wanted to write songs for youth. “A lot of the songs I write are from things that actually happened, and the others from my imagination.”

One such “real life” song was called “Open up the Coconut,” which Day wrote after bringing a coconut home from the grocery store and having one of his three children ask how in the world they would ever open it.

“It was fun because he let us think of ways we could open a coconut,” said Courtney Emerick, 8. “But really I liked all of it, and it was hard to pick one song that was the best one.”

Artsbridge education director Gerri Torres said she was glad to welcome back Day after going about three years without his performance.

“There is so little chance for young kids to see live art performances, so if you can do it in school, that’s great,” she said. “We have to make time for arts, regardless of the budget.”

The Dream BIG! show allowed students to think of rhyming words, answer science-related questions about animals and health and create their own stories lines.

“We like to keep it age-appropriate but it also needs to be connected to the curriculum,” Torres said. “It’s not just arts, but something that ties into history, maybe some science, and music. The good thing about art is that it ties all those things together.”

Day’s music has two Parents’ Choice Gold Awards, and has granted him the opportunity to be incorporated into various article and websites on education and childrens’ health. His music even incorporates a corresponding curriculum available for educators, which includes everything from creative writing practice to learning about alliterations.

McKinley Starcher, 8, agreed with classmates that the show was a good way to break up the school day and have some fun.

“The song about rhinos was my favorite, we got to sing against the boys and see who was louder,” Starcher said. “And I laughed when he was dancing around in that weird hat and sunglasses.”

The Artsbridge Tour with Roger Day’s show also stopped at Belpre Elementary on Wednesday morning before heading off to a school in Herndon, Va.

The Artists-on-Tour series brings three national tour groups a year to perform for more than 4,000 students in grades kindergarten through sixth grade in Washington, Morgan and Wood counties.

“And all of the performers are in the arts education circuit, they’re not just entertainers,” Torres said.