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Roger Day: Zookeeper’s in the House

January 18 - April 18

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(This is a virtual presentation.)

STEM-based learning with a JUNGLE BEAT!
Roger Day, a favorite of APPlause! Series audiences, has partnered with the Birmingham Zoo to create an interactive, multimedia educational program that celebrates the behind-the-scenes heroes who make zoos “safe and fun”: the ZOOKEEPERS! There’s not just one Zookeeper. There’s a whole team! Biologists, zoologists, veterinarians. Roger uses STEM-based activities and some of his most popular songs – including the viral hit “Zookeeper’s in the House” – to introduce students to those very same professionals and the animals they care for.
Related Links: RogerDay.com

FREE, but registration is required
Grades Prek-3
LOCATION: Virtual pre-recorded event; a link to access the performance will be sent to registrants on Jan. 18 at 8am (registrants who sign up after the event goes live will receive the link within 48 hours)
DATE/TIME: available to view anytime between Jan. 18-April 18, 2024
RUN TIME: Approximately 50 minutes
STUDY GUIDE: Click HERE for printable pdf
Christy Chenausky
Director of Arts Education and Outreach
828-262-6084 ext. 109

About STEM-Based Learning

Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

Music and musical experiences provide important developmental opportunities for young children and should be integrated throughout the curriculum. In an article on classroom music and the development of self-esteem in young children, author Laverne Warner (1999) outlines a variety of the benefits of musical activity. In the cognitive domain, benefits include the acquisition of language/vocabulary, understanding of symbolism, sense of sequencing, and memory and listening skills. The physical domain finds development in both gross and fine motor skills. Preschool-aged children begin to master movements such as marching, swaying, jumping, hopping, and tapping feet, all of which can be integrated into a variety of musical experiences. Fine motor skills can likewise be practiced through finger plays, snapping and hand movements. Finally, benefits in the social/emotional domain include participation with other children and adults in larger groups, the development of self-esteem as children creatively express themselves through movement, lyrics, and acting. Emotionally, children personally respond to the rhythm, melody, and sound of music.

The adventures in Roger Day’s music and songs can be enjoyed by students of any age or ability. Research has shown that exposure to music of different genres during the elementary school years leads to the overall development of self esteem across the domains — cognitive, physical, and emotional/social (Warner, 1999). Teachers of early elementary aged students (kindergarten through 3rd grade) can, and should, continue to use music as a means to strengthen each student’s language skills, creativity, and sense of self expression. With a little bit of creativity and willingness to try something new, Roger Day’s songs can be easily integrated into many current thematic units and areas of study.


Award-winning children’s musician Roger Day has devoted his life to making sure future generations sing loud, jump high, and — most importantly — DREAM BIG! His signature “wit, whimsy, and wordplay” have helped put smiles on the faces of kids from one to 92. From songs like “Mosquito Burrito” to “It’s a No-No to Kiss a Rhino” to “Parachute Girl,” Roger’s music shows the great respect he has for the intelligence and imagination of even our youngest friends.

What does a former camp counselor who studied German and spent 10 years playing college coffeehouses do with his life? Write and sing award-winning children’s music, of course! Roger Day takes inspiration from The Beatles, Tom Petty and even U2. A four-time Parents’ Choice® Gold Award winner, he’s worked with artists such as the Indigo Girls, Nanci Griffith and The Crickets (Buddy Holly’s legendary band). Roger wrote his first children’s song one Christmas when cash was short and the family gift list was long. The reaction from nieces and nephews was an enthusiastic “More please!” Encouraged, he kept writing. Soon he had enough songs for an entire show…he just wasn’t sure where to play them.

Then Roger got an idea. Whenever a college booked him for a coffeehouse show, he would volunteer to show up early, meet with a group of students and put on a community service concert for the local Head Start program. These made such an impact that the National Association of Campus Activities recognized Roger with The Harry Chapin Award for Contributions to Humanity, its highest public service award. By this time, Roger had two children of his own, with one on the way. He loved playing for colleges but felt writing and performing for kids was his true calling. So in a leap of faith, with no clear idea of where it would lead, he retired from the college circuit, became a full-time stay-at-home dad, and started writing exclusively for kids.

That leap of faith paid off. Roger now had enough songs for an entire CD. He released Rock ‘n’ Roll Rodeo in 1998 followed by Ready to Fly in 2001. The Indigo Girls sang with him. Nanci Griffith, too. Roger won his first Parent’s Choice® Award. Word spread. In 2003, he filmed a family concert DVD, Roger Day LIVE!  Dream Big! came next in 2007. Radio Disney played the title song; “I Like Yaks” went to #1 on XM’s KidsPlace Live; and he won his first Parent’s Choice® Gold Award. He won his second Parent’s Choice© Gold Award with the 2010 release Why Does Gray Matter? Described as “Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st Century,” it made innovative use of the brain as a theme for every song. In 2009, he was invited by Georgia Sea Grant to visit the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island, GA. Roger’s job? Shadow the scientists, help them with their research, then write songs about what he learned. Roger created the album Marsh Mud Madness, which tells the story of the fascinating plants and animals that live in and around the saltwater marshes on Atlantic Coast barrier islands. Roger wrote songs about sea turtles, alligators, dolphins, ghost crabs and, of course, regurgitating vultures!

Roger’s newest album, Invincible!, is superhero-themed…with a twist. See, Roger believes kids already have all the superpowers they will ever need…right now!…to “Solve the Problem and SAVE THE DAY!” His favorite line of the album is when he sings “Life is full of problems. But it’s full of answers, too!” That’s the message he would love kids to take away from all his shows. The next project in the pipeline — with a song and video that have already gone viral — is Zookeeper’s in the House. It’s an outgrowth of the residency Roger did in 2017 with The Birmingham Zoo in Alabama. In addition to fun songs about the animals who live there and how best to care for them, Roger highlights the many STEM jobs it takes to run the zoo.

Roger was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. A 1985 magna cum laude graduate of Washington & Lee University in Virginia, Roger currently lives in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife Jodie, a Speech Language Pathologist. Roger and Jodie have three children; Thomas, a pediatric resident at Boston Children’s Hospital; Marjory, a logistics guru for WalMart; and Jacob, starting his first job as an accountant in MD. An Eagle Scout — and proud Dad of two Eagle Scouts and a Silver Award Scout — Roger still volunteers for Troop 137 in Franklin whenever his busy schedule allows.

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For more information about APPlause!...

Christy Chenausky
Director of Arts Education and Outreach
828-262-6084 ext. 109

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January 18
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