Harmony Stockton, a daily afterschool arts academy for students in grades 3 through 5, is patterned on El Sistema, Venezuela's visionary and highly successful music program. In El Sistema, children learn how to sing, play an instrument and gain an appreciation of classical and other music. Students also sharpen their analytical skills as research has shown that learning to read music augments mathematical understanding. Harmony Stockton will launch at Marshall Elementary School July 25th and will run through the school year with 50 to 75 students. Operated by Stockton Symphony, Pacific's Conservatory of Music and the Benerd School of Education; funded by the United Way, the Stockton Symphony and private donation. Pictured here are Harmony students at Marshall Elementary School receiving their violins for the first time. They are learning how to hold the instruments.