Teaching Roster

Rachel Sumner

Contact Name: Rachel Sumner

Email: Click to email

Phone: (615) 646-3220

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Virtual Programming:

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Rachel Sumner discovered her passion for performing, writing, and working with children in 1990. Before long, she was asked to present keynotes, in-service trainings, residencies, and workshops for educators, librarians, parents, and children. See www.rachelsumner.com to hear her recordings, find out where she is performing, or learn more about her work.

Rachel is a trained teaching artist/arts integration specialist with:
• Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning in the Arts
• Disney Musicals in Schools
• Tennessee Performing Arts Center Education
• Tennessee Arts Commission

Her background in performing is extensive. She sang in twenty-one piece orchestras, numerous bands, duos, and solo acts. She has acted in national television commercials, children’s theater, musicals, and radio commercials. She is also an experienced public speaker who has been a long-time a member of Toastmasters International.

Award-winning recordings on her label Rachel’s Records:
• Seven CDs of original music and stories
• Two lullaby recordings
• Four MP3 singles

More recordings:
• Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s CD “Give Yourself A High Five”
• Rett Syndrome Research fundraiser CD “Girl Power”
• The American Music Therapy Association’s “Joy and Peace for our children”

Television and radio:
• Co-produces and hosts TV show for young children called “My Storytime Place”
• Produces and hosts a radio show called “Rachel’s Fun Time”
• Radio Lollipop features her radio show in 27 children’s hospitals around the world.
• Her recordings air on children’s radio, satellite, and cable stations.
• Her music videos were a regular feature on The Learning Channel’s “Ready, Set, Learn.”

Rachel’s TV show “My Storytime Place” airs in Middle Tennessee on Comcast’s Music City Arts channel 9, iQTV channel 10, and Public Access channel 19. It also airs on AT&T channel 99.

“Very few of today’s children’s performers seem to understand and appreciate exactly where children are in the ‘developmental’ scheme of things. Sumner does — and she shows it, with lots of fun-filled, diverse music and an attitude that doesn’t talk down to kids.”
— Fred Koch, Chicago Parent

“What a delightful presentation! The students and staff of the Rush-Henrietta School Age Child Care Program want to thank you for giving us the chance to express ourselves through music and dance. This is something that often gets short-changed in today’s electronic culture. We had a wonderful time and appreciate you spending the morning with us.”
— Pearl Tokar, Director of Child Care Services

“Thank you for coming to The Children’s Home/Chambliss Shelter yesterday to perform for the children we serve…. You were “GREAT”! We were all impressed with your musical talents and your ability to maintain control of a large audience of 4 through 12-year old children. (Being able to keep the attention of a large group of children with such a wide age span is a talent in and of itself!)”
— Paulette Acord, Volunteer Coordinator

“What a delight to have you at Emmanuel, to have dinner with you and then watch you mesmerize 300 folks early on a Saturday morning! You were absolutely amazing in your ability to entertain and hold the attention of “wound up” children on a Friday afternoon. Then you were equally as amazing as you wove great, practical information for teachers with fun and song and movement. The attendees of the conference gave you rave reviews. One said you could have spoken all day and she would have been happy….”
— Sandy Eggers, Memphis Association for the Education for Young Children Conference Coordinator

Artist Work Samples

Sample Programs Offered

Program Title: Homemade Instruments and the Science of Sound - Available Virtually

Program Type: Arts Integration

Program Description:

Students will explore the science of sound through the use and making of homemade musical instruments. They will identify the source of vibrations from instruments like: the straw panpipes, turkey baster, canjo, washtub bass, wooden spoons, garbage drums, and container shakers. They will make and learn to play at least three of these instruments. They will classify the instruments by method of sound production and predict the sounds that will be produced by instruments of different sizes.

Connects to Music and Science Standards, also incorporates some Math Standards when Straw Panpipes are made.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: All Around The World Concert - Available Virtually

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

Rachel kicks off this interactive multi-lingual concert with an original song that teaches words in Spanish, French, German and Japanese. She will also lead the audience in a West African chant and dance, the Bolivian song “La Mariposa,” and greeting songs in Spanish, Kurdish, Swahili, and sign language. Concert connects to Social Studies and Music Standards.

This concert is available for Prek-2 or grades 3-5 students. The content will be adapted to the age of the students participating. A study guide will be sent after the concert has been book. The guide includes a pre and post concert lesson.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

Program Title: Imagine Your Story - Available Virtually

Program Type: Arts Appreciation

Program Description:

Students will be invited to sing, dance, and role-play in this interactive musical concert of original songs inspired by traditional stories. During this fun-filled show, Rachel will encourage them to add their own spin to an old story to make it their own. (This presentation is designed to encourage and inspire young readers and/or emergent readers.)

How to prepare for the show: Make sure each student has room to dance and move around a little during the show. Also, plan to have paper, pencils, crayons, or other drawing materials ready after the show so that students can begin to create their own stories from a traditional fairy tale or a nursery rhyme.

Lesson Plan Example: Download File

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