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What is OMA?

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.

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 game between less-privileged and more-privileged students
  • building community
  • encouraging self-expression
  • supporting the arts

Ms. Nicole's Dance Class

Ms. Nicole teaches second grade dance, body movement, and mathmatics.

Ms. Parris' Band and Orchestra Class

Ms. Parris teaches at several schools around the district.  This year, she see kindergarten for OMA music classes where they sing, dance, incorporate classroom skills into the music classroom, and motor skills.  Third grade is learning to read music while mastering soprano recorder and exploring some body anatomy.  Fourth grade is learning how to play violin, and practicing analysis and peer-teaching skills.  This year, all of 5th grade is practicing collaboration and communication skills in orchestra class while playing bass, cello, viola, or violin.

Ms. T's OMA Class

Our OMA Teachers

Mrs. T - 1st and 3rd grade

Ms. Nicole - 2nd grade

Ms. Parris - K, 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th

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