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Music theory classes and a new choir for younger students are being added this fall.

COURTESY PHOTO: VOICES FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS FOUNDATION - Sherwood's Voices for the Performing Arts provides opportunities for young people and adults to sing and learn musicianship, music theory and how to perform on stage.Changes are coming this fall to Sherwood's Voices for the Performing Arts.

Beginning in October, the organization will expand its course offerings to focus more on engaging younger children and teaching music theory.

"Traditionally, the VPA program has focused on high school and middle school students," said program director Karen Porter. "This summer when we did our first summer camp at the Sherwood Center for the Arts, we realized there is a demand for singing opportunities for younger elementary school students and not a whole lot of options available. We want to create something to help fill that need."

A nonprofit group, Voices for the Performing Arts — more often known by its acronym, VPA — coordinates adult and children's choirs, children's musical theater productions, and financial assistance for both music teachers and graduating seniors in the Sherwood School District.

VPA is adding a new "Kids Choir" geared specifically toward kindergarteners, first-graders and second-graders.

The elementary and intermediate children's choirs are also expanding to become two-part programs, with a choir segment and then another segment that focuses on music theory and musicianship.

Additionally, VPA will begin offering music theory classes for ages 14 and older.

"Many parents don't understand the need for music theory instruction," Porter remarked. "Many choirs only have time to learn to perform songs, but that is like learning to talk without learning how to read."

She added, "We want our students to become proficient at reading music, sight-singing and understanding scales, chords and harmony because this gives them a foundation for a lifetime of music-making and enjoyment from music."

For more information about VPA, visit its website.


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