Alonzo Lang helps his 5-year-old daughter, Payton, create a violin out of cardboard during a craft night at Paul Bank Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at the school in Homer, Alaska. The project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which teaches first and second grade students musicianship and the host of skills that come with it. Students start out with the cardboard violins before graduating to the real instruments later in the year. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Alonzo Lang helps his 5-year-old daughter, Payton, create a violin out of cardboard during a craft night at Paul Bank Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at the school in Homer, Alaska. The project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which teaches first and second grade students musicianship and the host of skills that come with it. Students start out with the cardboard violins before graduating to the real instruments later in the year. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Paul Banks students get started on another year of Preludes Violin Program

While most students are busy this time of year breaking in their crayons and calculators, some at Paul Banks Elementary School are gearing up to become little virtuosos.

For several years now the school has run its Preludes Violin Program, a music program that incorporates violin playing into the curriculum to enhance student learning. The musical instruction is said to help develop focus, self-control and teamwork in students.

Inspired by the Juneau Alaska Music Matters (JAMM) program, the goal of Preludes is to create not only better learners, but also better citizens through music instruction and performing together as a group.

The program started out with one grade but soon expanded to include all fist and second-grade students. They don’t start with a violin at all, but rather a makeshift placeholder.

Students first learn to build and practice on a cardboard violin. Their parents joined them to help construct the cardboard versions during two craft nights held at the school last Wednesday and Thursday.

After months of practice, the students will graduate on to the real deal. The program culminates in concerts during the second half of the school year.

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

Parents and their children work on making violins out of cardboard and glue during a craft session Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. The project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which teaches first and second grade students musicianship and the host of skills that come with it. Students start out with the cardboard violins before graduating to the real instruments later in the year. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Parents and their children work on making violins out of cardboard and glue during a craft session Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. The project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which teaches first and second grade students musicianship and the host of skills that come with it. Students start out with the cardboard violins before graduating to the real instruments later in the year. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Reilly Sue Baker, 9, makes a violin out of cardboard with the help of her dad, Bryan Baker, on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. The violin-making project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which puts real violins in the hands of elementary students after months of learning learning the necessary skills to handle one. The music instruction is used to enhance their learning experience. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Reilly Sue Baker, 9, makes a violin out of cardboard with the help of her dad, Bryan Baker, on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. The violin-making project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which puts real violins in the hands of elementary students after months of learning learning the necessary skills to handle one. The music instruction is used to enhance their learning experience. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A sign advises students and parents how to make cardboard violins during a craft night at Paul Bank Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at the school in Homer, Alaska. The project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which teaches first and second grade students musicianship and the host of skills that come with it. Students start out with the cardboard violins before graduating to the real instruments later in the year. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

A sign advises students and parents how to make cardboard violins during a craft night at Paul Bank Elementary School on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 at the school in Homer, Alaska. The project is part of the school’s Preludes Violin Program, which teaches first and second grade students musicianship and the host of skills that come with it. Students start out with the cardboard violins before graduating to the real instruments later in the year. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

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