Instruments Donated to HISD

Rhythm instruments are being donated to five HISD schools to introduce music to the students. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports after only a half hour of instruction students at Rusk Elementary School were putting on a performance for the officials announcing the program.

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The new music program is part of a $1.7 million fine arts initiative in the Houston Independent School District that relies heavily on partnerships with businesses. For this program Da Camera Artist in Residence Samuel Dinkins will go to Rusk once a week to teach the rhythm class.

"Percussion is the foundation of music. No rhythm, no music. So we want to get them inspired by learning rhythm, learning how to read music."

Dinkins also has the goal of trying to make the connection between music and other schools courses. Rusk Elementary Student Carla Carillo is starting to make the connection after one 30 minute session.

"I think we're just like going to have fun and like try to learn stuff about music and he actually said that it had something to do with math and fractions."

It's a message Dinkins will keep repeating.

"When you start playing those eighth notes and sixteenth, you're doing fractions. You're doing eighth notes, half a beat, you're doing sixteenth notes, one-fourth of a beat. OK. So don't forget that. So you've got one and two and three-ee four-and-ah, all right."

HISD Superintendent Abe Saavedra says fine arts can support the core curriculum.

"We believe using fine arts to teach core curriculum will make learning more fun and therefore more memorable to our students."

Four of the five schools taking part in the program previously did not have a music program. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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