Music teacher keeps learning fun for kids with familiar tunes

Posted by Ashley Speller on 12/13/2019

The familiar lullaby ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ is a song that most people might recognize. 

A group of third-graders from Colonial Hills Elementary School filled the room to learn how to play the childhood tune in their ‘Orffestra’ class.

Brian Kingbury is the music teacher at the school.

“For the kids, I tell them it’s just a fancy way of saying you play with xylophones, drums, metallophones, a lot of instrumental play. It was invented by a guy named Carl Orff; it’s a music-learning theory. He believed in learning through active play,” he said.

Kingbury likes to keep learning fun by teaching students some of their favorite songs.

“I’ve also taught them a version of ‘Baby Shark’ that they love to play. They ask every week when they come to Orffestra, can we play ‘baby shark’ today and I’m like yeah!”

He’s using innovative ways to reach his students through music.

“Being a musician, music was that one thing for me that just opened my mind and made me relax for the rest of the day. I still do it today; I’ll play piano or my tuba and it releases my mind. That’s what I want for the kids; it’s a good release, a stress reliever. Music just has that way of making your mind at ease and calming you,” Kingbury added.

Eight-year-old Yasmine Rodriguez is in the class.

“It helps me start my day to make me happy because when I wake up I just feel a little nothing, but when I do music class I get happy because I get to do instruments and stuff,” she said.

This is Mr. Kingbury’s first year at Colonial Hills.

He said he loves being part of such a welcoming and diverse school.

“I’ve learned so much about different kinds of cultures, we have kids from Africa to Afghanistan-it’s just amazing. We have a real sense of family here, everyone is really close. The staff is super close with each other and it’s a joyful place to come every day. When the kids come to Orffestra every day, it just makes me happy. They come in, they work really hard, they give it one hundred percent every single time. They bring out the best in me every day,” he said.

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Ashley Speller

aspell@neisd.net