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Guitar Class Gets Nod at Barlow

Guitar players at Joel Barlow High School will have an opportunity to hone their skills next school year after the Region 9 school board unanimously decided to include Guitar I as part of its elective curriculum.

Board member Thomas Logie introduced the guitar class as part of the changes for the 2011-12 program of studies. The reason for the change was "[to] enrich the electives to meet the needs of the students."

Initial class costs were set at $2,000 to purchase new guitars, but no funds have been appropriated. Funding considerations will take place during the upcoming budget sessions. No new staff members will be hired for this position, the school board said.

The board also agreed to include a music appreciation class to "allow the extension of experiences established with focused music listening and understanding of music as an art form. "

The positive effects of music education on intelligence are a well-documented phenomenon. A study published in the Journal of the Association for Psychological Science stated: "Compared with children in the control groups, children in the music groups exhibited greater increases in full-scale IQ."

The school board also introduced a science research class to better prepare students for college-level courses. Chair Mark Lewis indicated that the board might have to consider hiring an additional teacher to meet the demand generated by the new class.

What do you think? Is the introduction of a guitar class a good use of school and teaching resources?

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