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OES teacher: I just want kids to sing

Opp Elementary School’s music and art teacher Lynn Weide started out playing piano at her husband’s church and now has taught music at OES for seven years.

“I’m just a church music lady,” Weide said. “My husband is the minister of music at First Baptist Church in Opp and Mr. Smithart approached me wanting someone to come in and do the music program and since I was already doing children’s choir and have been in music programs all my life, it worked out. I just like to sing and I want the kids to sing.”

Three years ago, Weide also took on art classes.

“I really love crafts,” Weide said. “I love painting with the kids and so it was kind of just a natural progression. It’s a little trying at times, but I enjoy it.”

Weide said the best part of her job is watching the progress that the kids make throughout their time in elementary school.

“I have pre-k through fourth grade,” Weide said. “And as far as music goes, just seeing the growth is amazing. By the second grade, they know the expectations and we can put on a musical in no time. Just to see them advance and do the best that they can is the best part of my job.”

This year is going to be Weide’s last year at Opp. She said one of her best memories was when a student excelled at painting the Mona Lisa.

“I have lots of good memories here,” Weide said. “But there was this one time during the first year of art and the kids insisted that we paint the Mona Lisa. There was this little girl, Danielle, and for a fourth-grader, it was the best I have ever seen. In that same class, we did a musical and it was probably the best musical that we have ever done and I will always remember that.”

The arts to Weide are very important and she said they go hand in hand with the other subjects.

“My husband has played music for elderly people at funeral homes that are very unresponsive and when he starts singing a hymn, they pop up and start singing along,” Weide said. “I think at the end of our lives, we can always have the arts with us. When you learn the arts, you use a part of the brain that you don’t usually use. It just goes hand in hand with what they learn in the classroom.”