What’s Right With Our Schools: Hixson Middle School Strings
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF) – It happens all to often. Children get involved in an elementary school string program, then stop after the 5th grade. Hixson Middle School has a plan to keep those kids making beautiful music.
Claire Stockman is the Content Lead for Visual Arts for Hamilton County Schools.
She says, “We’ve been partnering with Chattanooga Symphony and orchestra for several years, with their strings in schools program for upper elementary age students. We are really excited to launch 30 open enrollment seats at Hixson Middle School starting in the Fall. Students will apply through our typical process, and if we do have more than 30 students apply, they will be put in a lottery and students will be selected for the seats we have available. Students do not audition. The only requirement is that they stay in the orchestra once they come to Hixson Middle. So, we are really looking for students who have some orchestra experience, some string experience in elementary school just so they know what they are getting into and middle school. In Hamilton County schools we are just looking for ways to provide more opportunities for students to find a thing that they love to do. In the arts we do that through music, dance, theater, and visual arts in everyone of our buildings. Some of our buildings do offer orchestra programs which includes violin, viola, cello, and bass opportunities. And soul through this new pathway for students they can continue the strings learning that they had an elementary school at the middle school level.”
Yara Rida, 6th Grader at Hixson Middle.
She says, “Whenever I came here, a lot of kids have very, you know, like voice cracking or violin cracking. But, I did have an advantage, which I am glad of. Because she called me advanced and I was like ooooh.”
Sara Daniels, Orchestra Director for Hixson Middle and High Schools.
She says, “We know that setting the bar always means that students are going to achieve more. And that just means the bar gets to go higher and higher as they advance through the 12th grade.”
Claire concludes, “As the 26th national site for the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and ensuring the arts for any child we are so excited to have partners like the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera to help provide these enriching experiences in our schools, and through this open enrollment pathway, we are giving students a choice option to take that elementary opportunity and extend it to the middle and high school years.”
They will be taking applications at Hixson Middle through the end of March.