LAWTON, OK (TNN) - An award-winning musician was in Lawton Wednesday sharing his passion and love for music with area elementary school students.
“It really kind of stems from my childhood,” said Stephen Fite, musician and writer.
“Going over to my aunt’s of all places and listening to the Beatles records,” said Fite.
Stephen’s love of music developed at a young age, with big dreams of being the fifth Beatle.
“Of course, I was young and didn’t have the kind of hair,” said Fite.
Although that dream may have never panned out, Stephen realized his passion for performing in front of large crowds of screaming and jumping fans, the very young kind.
“I love being able to share my passion with children and get them excited because children love music," said Fite. "It’s one of those things, one of those mediums that children grab on to immediately and they can learn so much language and learn so many skills, colors, numbers, shapes, so much coordination and movement, fine motor skills from music.”
Also fans of Stephen’s interactive concerts are teachers.
“They’ve been using my music in the classroom so it’s really cool for them but also much more so for the children because they get to hear songs that they sing in the classroom," said Fite. “It’s kind of like you and I going to an Eagles concert. We love hearing hits that we grew up with and it’s the same way with children. Whenever we sing a song that they listen to in a classroom, their eyes light up and they start singing along.”
More than 2,500 students from schools all around southwest Oklahoma including Carnegie, Big Pasture, Geronimo and Cache attended the two performances at the McMahon Memorial Auditorium. They dressed in their best “jungle wear” because this year’s concert’s theme is “Welcome to the Jungle.”
“A couple of years ago I decided to start putting themes with it and trying to make it as educational as we possibly can," said Fite. "So, that’s why you heard us talk about the amount of rain we get in the rain forest or what a habitat is. All these things that children are studying in school in the pre-k, k and first grade grade levels.”
“This week we are starting our theme on animals," said Joyce Langford, Pre-K Teacher at Cache Elementary. "We’re starting with jungle animals which is this week. So, we’re excited to listen to Stephen Fite’s songs all about the jungle.”
Stephen acted as a tour guide and used music to lead the little explorers on a fast-paced memorable journey though the jungle and rain forest.
“The average attention span of a three-year-old, four-year-old, five-year-old is about three minutes and you’re lucky if you get that," said Fite. "So, that’s why I try to gear the concert to an up-down mentality. We’ll sit down and sing the rain song but we’ll stand up and we’ll jump around and get them refocused and that’s what the name of the game is in the classroom and here on the stage is keeping them focused continually for an hour.”
And the best part is the kids were having so much fun they didn’t even realize they were learning!
“We want our learning to be fun," said Mrs. Langford. "They don’t realize they’re learning. They don’t realize they are little sponges and they’re soaking everything in, but this is exactly how we want their learning to be... fun, fun, fun!”