Ukulele-playing students bring Christmas cheer to Tyler senior home

Ukulele-playing students bring Christmas cheer to Tyler senior home
Fourth and fifth graders showed off their ukuleles to area seniors after their Christmas performance, even offering to teach residents a thing or two about the instrument. (Source: Photojournalist Arthur Clayborn)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The inside of the Atria Willow Park Senior Living Center echoed with the sound of ukuleles Friday morning, as students from All Saints Episcopal School played and sang Christmas carols for area seniors.

The fourth and fifth graders from All Saints visited the senior living center as part of the school’s annual Christmas tour. The group was made up of 10 ukulele players and 7 singers.

Ukulele-playing students perform Christmas carols for Tyler senior home

“I started this program about 3 years ago,” said Johnny Ray, fine arts director. “Third grades can sign up to take ukulele class, which is outside of the school day. And, if they choose to remain in it, they can stay in it through fifth grade."

After their performance at Atria, students visited the Boshears Center for Exceptional Programs School, before grabbing lunch and calling it a day.

Ray said his favorite part about taking his music students to visit seniors every year is the interaction between the students and adults, especially considering the gap in age.

“I encourage the audience, wherever we go, I encourage them to join in with us, and after our program I encourage our ukulele players to give little mini-lessons to people in the audience," Ray explained.

Fourth and fifth graders from All Saints Episcopal School performed holiday classics to a room of seniors at Atria Willow Park.
Fourth and fifth graders from All Saints Episcopal School performed holiday classics to a room of seniors at Atria Willow Park. (Source: Photojournalist Arthur Clayborn)

“I just think it’s extremely important for children to give back," Ray added. “I think that it’s important for them to see senior citizens, and children with handicaps and conditions that they don’t have, and to give back to people across the community.”

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