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Opening Minds through the Arts

Inspired by exciting, ongoing research into connections between brain development and music, Tucson's Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA program) is a leader in a national movement to integrate arts education with 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 seven artists who work alongside classroom teachers, adapting each lesson to support teaching of core content and knowledge. In addition, children learn to play the recorder, violin, a wind instrument and keyboard. In Tucson, the OMA program employs 26 artists from the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Arizona Opera Company, University of Arizona Schools of Music and Dance and other arts organizations to teach 30-minute, twice-weekly classes for 36 weeks of the school year that support core curriculum goals.




Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) is proud to announce…..


Educators of Primary and Secondary Schools from Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, PR China to Visit Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) Program

Opening Minds through the Arts (OMA) is proud to announce the visit of a Guangzhou School Principal Delegation under the auspices of the Educational Leadership Exchange (ELLE) Program in November 2014. Over the past 9 years, South China Normal University has worked collaboratively with Peabody College of Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee), University of Washington (Bothell, Washington) and University of Aberdeen (Scotland) through the ELLE Program.

Each year a delegation of Primary and Secondary School Principals, SCNU Staff, and Officers of Guangzhou Education Bureau visit school programs in the United States to learn more about our educational system. This year’s focus is arts integration. After seeing our OMA website, they expressed an interest in visiting Tucson when they depart from Nashville. While here, the delegation will learn about the OMA Program, see arts integration Opera, Movement and AIS lessons first hand in two of our OMA Gold Schools, experience arts integration lesson demonstrations, tour our wonderful resources at EMC, meet with TUSD Leadership and finally visit the ‘Dove of the Desert’ San Xavier del Bac Mission for an amazing arts integration experience! We look forward to meeting this delegation and forming a collaborative relationship.

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Big Bang = Big Change Evaluation Report -

documenting the successful initial year of OMA’s taiko drumming program at Morgan Maxwell K-8 School.

Recognized by the Arizona Department of Education as a standard for arts programming assessment tools.

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OMA brings the arts to Tucson Unified School District classrooms as a means of ...

  • Teaching core curriculum
  • Improving test scores
  • Fostering cognitive development
  • Igniting love and understanding of the arts
  • Narrowing the gap between less-privileged and more-privileged students
  • Building community
  • Encouraging self-expression
  • Supporting the arts

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