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Fine Arts

Travis Henson
Music
hensotr@tulsaschools.org

I focus on sing, say, dance, or play. So, if you can’t sing, that’s okay. Can you say the words? If you can’t dance it, can you play it on an instrument? There’s something for everyone.

Kindergarten is immersed in dance, silly songs, and a lot of steady beat rhythm activities. First grade is focused on actual singing. They play our small xylophones. They are singing silly songs and playing the note name. Second grade is in more of a performance mode. They are learning how to sing, put on a concert, play instruments while they are singing instead of play or sing. Third grade is doing the same thing but adding drum set, hand drums, xylophones, ukuleles, and voice. Fourth and fifth grades are doing Link Up which is recorders, voice, and percussion. They are really focused on how do we make a more polished ensemble, more polished group, that sounds and presents themselves in a grade-appropriate, age-appropriate way.

They learn not just about music, but we learn math, we learn color identification for our pre-k and kindergarten, we learn note and letter identification for our kindergarten and 1st graders. We’re doing eye-hand coordination, cross-body connections to fire their brains into work mode.

The kids get really excited when we get the drums out. Drum circles are one of their favorite activities. You can focus on social emotional learning. They fit in where they get in. They learn to play nice and to work as a team and to create a sound while enjoying it. They grow from each other’s experiences and sounds. It’s a lot of sharing of ideas and having fun as a group. 99 percent of the time they leave with a smile.

Instruments

  • Tubanos
  • Djembes
  • Frame drums
  • Orff instruments
  • Recorders
  • Bongos
  • Drum set
  • Ukuleles
  • Tambourines
  • Rhythm sticks
  • Boomwhackers
  • Jingle bells
  • Egg shakers
  • Xylophones
  • Steel tongue drums

Link Up

Burroughs students in 3rd through 5th grade have the opportunity to take part in the Carnegie Hall Link Up program. Students learn to sing and play an instrument in the classroom which they will later use to perform with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.