Meet Linda Rogers: Passionate performer and teacher
By Kathleen Walker
Photo by Tim Goldman
Music education major Linda Rogers found her love of music early in life. After seeing “The Sound of Music” at age six, she came home and picked out “Do, Re, Mi” on the piano. The next week, her mother enrolled Linda in piano lessons. “Practicing the piano was now at the top of my chore list,” Linda says. “I think my mom had visions of me being a concert pianist.” Instead, Linda discovered the bassoon in high school band and found her next passion—playing with a group of musicians.
“With piano, you’re almost always by yourself,” Linda says. “Playing as part of a group and performing a piece together provides a feeling I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.” Linda planned to share her joy of music and ensemble playing with others as a high school band director and earned a degree in music performance from another university. A few years later, she signed up for the Army. “It was a good move for me at the time,” she says. “I found I could play music and get paid for it.”
The Army helped her in other ways as well. “I learned that if I want to pursue something, I need to be serious and focused, to make a plan and then go for it.” That drive to succeed led Linda to Kennesaw State. She enrolled as a music performance student after seeing KSU Director of Keyboard Studies David Watkins perform at a concert here. “He was so inspiring,” Linda says. “He made me want to be a better pianist so I could be a better piano teacher.”
While strengthening her piano skills at KSU, Linda was also given the opportunity to play bassoon in the wind ensemble and orchestra. This experience rekindled her desire to be a school band director, so once she earned her music performance degree she entered the music education degree program at KSU.
As a music educator, Linda wants her students “to be passionate learners about all kinds of music, including music of different cultures,” Linda says. “I also want to show them that I care in the same way my professors here showed me that they cared.”
Her professors know that Linda will be successful in her goal. “She relates well to students of all ages and is open to teaching music wherever she finds a good opportunity,” says KSU Program Coordinator for Music Education Barbara Hammond. KSU Director of Orchestras Mike Alexander adds, “Linda is a terrific student and already a fine educator. She cares deeply about her craft and can inspire students as a result.”
Linda excels at all aspects of music—teaching, playing and composing. After graduation, she would love to find a position that encompasses all three areas. “My ideal situation would be in a little rural community where I can teach K-12 and grow a program there. I would love that, but ultimately I will go where I think I’ll be the happiest.”