Lenihan teacher instructs at rock hall of fame

Sara McCue had a memorable summer trip teaching at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

McCue, a general music teacher at Lenihan Intermediate School, taught one session to other teachers at the hall of fame’s summer institute.

“It was amazing,” McCue said.

McCue attended the institute to learn in 2010 and was flattered they asked her to come back and teach a session. The institute is designed to see how teachers can infuse rock music into their lessons. Her session had the class write a musical with rock music, which is the same project she does with her sixth graders at Lenihan.

Her local students seem to react favorably to the activity.

“They really get into it and have a lot of fun,” McCue said.

McCue tries to put popular music into her teaching to help children relate. She surveys the students about what they are listening to so she can provide more information on their music. She said students are more inclined to listen to Bruno Mars than Beethoven at home.

“Why not teach them about what they are actually are listening to?” McCue said.

At the same time, McCue also teaches all the skills and standards that students need.

McCue came from a small school and said she didn’t have access to as much music education as Marshalltown students. Her goal is to expand musical experiences for all of her students.

“I’ve always wanted to be able to do that,” McCue said.

Classes start Tuesday in Marshalltown.