Joyful participatory concerts teach new songs and share rhythm instruments from around the world—shekeres, rainsticks, the cuica, and the shak-shak beans. Sarah has been singing across the country for over thirty years.
This is a 2010 photo from her BOCES New York State Arts in Education program on New York State History for grades 4th-6th which celebrates cooperation and ecology with songs and stories about the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), the Underground Railroad in New York State, Civil Rights songs including “We Shall Overcome,” and songs from Pete Seeger’s Hudson River Sloop.
Sarah has been singing across the country for over thirty years and likes to individualize the programs to fit the setting. Programs have ranged from:
- A full hall of four hundred people
- Family music and walk-along while visiting sites in a forest
- Rollicking outdoor events at the Clearwater Folk Festival
- An intergenerational program at the local Senior Center in 2010 for 70 people sharing songs about local farmers that were written with local children.
“Unbelievably phenomenal is what the teachers said about your concerts on conflict resolution and Building Bridges. You are a master of communication, teaching and inclusion. You treat the audience with genuine respect and dignity. My life has been changed by this day.”
— Kate Blagdon, Mentor teacher, Meadow School, Petaluma, CA
AROUND THE RIVER engages students in lively music and conversation with author and songwriter Sarah Pirtle who inspires young people to feel they can make a positive contribution to the world. Teachers say, “Our students were deeply affected by her heart-centered approach, kindness, and expertise in cooperation, and they enjoyed her sense of humor.”
Sarah plays drums, banjo, harp, and guitar. Nationally recognized for her work on social skills, she received nine awards for her four books and nine recordings, as well as the Magic Penny Award from the Children’s Music Network for life-time achievement.
Format for PreK-6th:
She gives several concerts in one day. Each concert includes 2-4 classes at a time.
As a graduate school teacher for 25 years Sarah can individualize her programs to respond to the curricular themes requested by teachers. She can focus upon conflict resolution and respect for diversity, provide stories of courage, help students write science songs, or highlight poetry in songwriting. She emphasizes what it takes to get along and contribute to a classroom community.
Specialized programs include:
- Black and White Together: Songs of the Underground Railroad and Civil Rights,
- Songs and stories about whales and dolphins,
- Talk It Out-Conflict Resolution Songs,
- Our Local Farm Heroes,
- Two Hands Hold the Earth: ecology songs.
- Courage Songs
When students or teachers have losses or illness, Sarah’s programs give a chance for skillful processing and support. Schools have also asked her to write songs with students after the death of a member of the school community and have felt strengthened.
For Family and Community
Joyful participatory concerts teach new songs and share rhythm instruments from around the world—shekeres, rainsticks, the cuica, and the shak-shak beans. Sarah has been singing across the country for over thirty years and likes to individualize the programs to fit the setting. Programs have ranged from intimate walks through a forest to a full hall of four hundred people to rollicking outdoor events at the Clearwater Folk Festival.
“Uplifting and inspiring performances.”
“You help us feel. I’m grateful that through your songs you can help us directly experience peace. I call this experiential worship. I’m still feeling the songs flashing through my head and heart, feeling kind of strong and vulnerable the way truth makes us feel.”
Sarah takes life stories and communicates the heartbeat of courage.
Performances have included the People’s Voice Cafe, NYC.
An Outbreak of Peace
Inspired by Sarah’s award-winning book, peace songs from many writers and from many decades are shared. Sing along is encouraged.
Performances have included the Hilltown Folk Series.