I have been teaching elementary music for Tulsa Public Schools more than twenty years and currently am a co-chair for the elementary music department.
My goals for each student include:
- to have a love for music
- to learn to appreciate all styles of music
- to have a general understanding of the history and culture behind the various styles
- to engage each student in a variety of ways to enjoy music (singing, movement, speech, instruments, body percussion, etc.)
- to offer opportunities to attend performances to ignite a passion for the stage
- to help students understand the connections between English language arts, math, etc. and the fine arts.
Orff Schulwerk is a process of teaching that was developed by German Composer, Carl Orff. His idea of teaching children to speak, move, sing and play has swept the world over and been used in the United States for many years. We use instruments developed by Orff at Salk. As a level 2 certified teacher, I am constantly attending professional development to better my skills.
I have been involved from the beginning in two special programs offered to our scholars: Any Given Child (Kennedy Center) and Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. The Link Up field trip experience provides our third, fourth, and fifth graders with a unique opportunity to be both the audience and the performers.
Our district also has an annual All-District Elementary Music Festival at the Tulsa Community College PACE Van Trease Center (Performing Arts Center for Education). Music is learned throughout the school year, rehearsed at an all-day field trip with other Tulsa schools and performed that same evening for family members. Three hundred students from across the district perform in the annual festival. It is the highlight of the year for many students!
I have always loved the arts. My Aunt Carole worked for Hallmark back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, where she was known for her beautiful watercolors. My aunt's specialty were roses. I admired her so much that she inspired me to go to college to become an art teacher.
I went to school at Rogers State University and Northeastern State University where I obtained my degree in art education. I also have three certifications for elementary education and early childhood education.
The philosophy that I try to remember is that all children can learn to draw. Anyone. I believe that anything we set our minds to do we can do. I love seeing the spark in a child's eyes when they realize that, yes, they can draw. I love showing my students a variety of artists and the art that made a lot of them famous. When I see my students achieving certain goals it makes my heart full.