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OMA at Fruchthendler
Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA)
Inspired by exciting, ongoing research into connections between brain development and the arts, Tucson’s Opening Minds through the Arts is a leader in a national movement to integrate arts education with the core curriculum. OMA uses instrumental music, opera, dance, theater, and visual arts to help teach reading, writing, math, and science to children in kindergarten through 8th grade. Each fully implemented OMA school has an Arts Integration Specialist and a team of teaching artists who work alongside classroom teachers throughout the year, creating each lesson to support teaching of core skills. OMA helps foster cognitive development, encourages self-expression, and creates an engaging, learning atmosphere, in addition to improving test scores. OMA is a homegrown program of TUSD and is fully implemented at Fruchthendler Elementary, making Fruchthendler an OMA Gold School.
At Fruchthendler, students are engaged in the arts beginning in kindergarten. All students participate in weekly OMA lessons with our Arts integrated Specialist (AIS). Our AIS integrates the curriculum into varying art forms including, music, theater, painting, drawing, sculpture and ceramics. In addition to these weekly lessons taught by our AIS, each grade level collaborates with a team of artists who integrate their art form into the grade level curriculum. The following is a brief description of the art form emphasized at each grade level:
Kindergarten ~Instrumental Ensembles. - Wind or string duo play classical and contemporary music that align with classroom topics. Our teaching artists Diana and Dominic teach lessons twice a week to our kindergartners. First Grade ~ Opera Trio - After listening to great works of opera sung by the trio, students create their own story, lyrics, and music to stage and perform. Our teaching artists Juan, Kim and Gregg teach lessons twice a week with our first graders, with an emphasis on the writing process. Second Grade ~ Creative Movement - Dance artist helps students to interpret and respond to music while collaborating and solving problems creatively. Our teaching artist Wendy teaches lessons once a week to our second graders with an emphasis on science and math. Third Grade ~ Recorder – Lessons include reading of musical scores and composing and improvising original works. Our AIS teaches recorder lessons twice a week to our third graders. Fourth Grade ~ Violin and Thematic Study, Professional Performance/Exhibit Experiences. Our teaching artist, Emily teaches violin lessons twice a week to our fourth graders. Fifth Grade ~ Wind/String selected by students and Thematic Study through original stories and compositions, Professional Performance/Exhibit Experiences. Our teaching artists Emily and Catherine provide lessons twice a week to our fifth graders in advanced orchestra and band.
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