Fayette County middle schoolers showed off their musical talent on violins, ukuleles and guitars Thursday afternoon thanks to a relatively new afterschool program.
With the help of instructors from the Coda Mountain Academy, about 35 sixth through eighth graders showcased a semester of hard work to the public and their peers at Fayetteville High School.
"Playing instruments is like expressing yourself without being criticized, and staying after school you get to meet new people and hang out with them because you barely see them in the hallways," Caitlyn Taylor told WOAY.
Representatives from Coda Mountain Academy teach students about musical instruments two days a week to help curb the dropout rate. Academy directors said the program helps young students find themselves.
"Their self esteem shoots up, and it's become quite a team," Esther Morey told WOAY. "Everyone loves being together and working together because when you play music together, you have to listen to each other and collaborate."
Seventh grader Jamecia Jackson agrees.
"I love school, and just to get to stay here another two hours is awesome, and being here with all these people -- I've met so many people I probably would have never talked to in the hallways."
The Coda Mountain Academy will continue working with students for two more years until funding terminates or is continued.
"This just helps me reconnect with my old self before I started stopping playing music and everything," 7th grader Jordan Scarbro said.