6 May Gomez Elementary Families Enjoy Music Workshops May 6, 2013 By News News 0 Gomez Elementary families had a rare opportunity to work with local artist Michael Fitzsimmons thanks to grants from the Omaha Schools Foundation. Fitzsimmons, best known as "The Dancing Man," is an award-winning recording artist with Dancing Man Music who has performed music for Robert Bly's "Tatterhood," and created adaptations of "Snow White" and "Cinderella" for the Omaha Emmy Gifford Children's Theater. He is also a leader of drum circles at the Universal College of Healing Arts, an artist with Very Special Arts and a percussionist with the Sacred Heart Freedom Choir, and is a skilled performer of diverse percussion instruments including drums, African instruments, Mbira, Plains Indian flutes, Brazilian percussion flutes, various bamboo flutes and Hang. During the workshops - "Drumming with Dads" and "Students and Parents Flute/Drum Class" - Fitzsimmons taught listening skills (the ability to copy the rhythms and patterns of someone else), internal pulse (everyone working together so they can stay together) and improvisation (the ability to play and create music in the moment). The two groups performed for staff, students, parents and the greater community during the school's Spring Ensemble Concert. Click here to see a photo slideshow from the concert! Related Articles Gomez Elementary Enjoying Outdoor Classroom Gomez Heritage Elementary's outdoor classroom is up and running, thanks to a true community effort. Over the course of the fall semester, Gomez students, staff and parents have pitched in to finish the landscaping by planting bulbs and trees. Parent Michelle Gaytan built storage boxes using recycled boards from an old barn. And South High Magnet's National Honor Society members helped move dirt and mulch. Gomez teachers are using the space for a wide variety of curriculum disciplines. Click here to see a photo slideshow. Gomez-Heritage Elementary Celebrates District's 150th Anniversary Gomez-Heritage Elementary is honoring OPS's 150th anniversary by designing three benches to represent the district's past, present and future. The school's art teachers and a group of five students dedicated much time brainstorming ideas and painting the benches over the summer. The "past" bench includes images of an old schoolhouse and depictions of historical south Omaha. The "present" bench has a facade of the school building with a sunrise and illustrations representing the 11 curriculum disciplines. The "future" bench represents an increasingly global society, and includes the word "learning" in 11 different languages. All three benches will eventually be on display in Gomez-Heritage's outdoor classroom/garden, which is currently under construction. Click here to view a slideshow. Benson West Elementary Students Enjoy New KaBOOM! Playground Benson West Elementary students are taking full advantage of their new KaBOOM! playground this fall. In early August, nearly 400 volunteers from Mutual of Omaha, Benson West, and the surrounding community spent one day working to replace decades-old equipment with a KaBOOM! playground. But this isn't just any playground--this is one designed by Benson West students themselves! Click here to see a video about the project. OPS Music Students Perform at All-City Music Festival The 62nd annual All-City Music Festival showcased the musical talents of students in sixth grade through high school. Nearly 2,000 selected OPS students performed in chorus, band and orchestra ensembles on Feb 5th at the Civic Auditorium Arena. The theme for this year’s concert was “Celebrate Music.” The festival included music from many cultures including Eastern European literature, Spanish melodies, an Irish tune, and a Swahili piece. Students also performed pieces representing age-old cultures of wandering gypsies and the siege of a medieval castle. Click here to see a photo slideshow from the rehearsals! Five Marrs Magnet Middle School Students Inducted into Gomez Heritage Elementary's 100% Club Congratulations to the Marrs Magnet Middle School fifth-graders who are the first students to be inducted into Gomez Heritage Elementary’s 100% Club for achieving a perfect score on one or more of the 2012-2013 NeSA test(s). Bancroft Elementary Students Enjoy Unique Science Presentation Students attending Bancroft Elementary's Summer Library Program received a lesson in science during the Omaha Children's Museum's Whiz Bang Super Science Show on June 9. Program presenter Anna Sander demonstrated the concepts of air pressure, water pressure and chemistry as students helped create slime, H2O rockets and were given an opportunity to watch a two liter bottle of soda erupt ten feet into the air. Click here to see a photo slideshow from the presentation! Comments are closed.