By Marybel Rodriguez

MIAMI (CBS4) – They love to sing, and students at the Miami Choral Academy have found the power in their voice.

“There are times when I am mad or sad about something and when I sing I feel happy” said 10 year old Jason Jean-Joseph a student at Natural River Elementary in North Miami.

Jean-Joseph is one of 50 talented students part of the Miami Choral Academy, a free program funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as well as other organizations. The academy costs $240,000 a year to run.

The program is the latest initiative of Seraphic Fire, a classical music choir that has branched into gospel, opera and pop.

Students learn how to sing a wide range of styles. They learn how to sing the classics and merge their love for music into reading, writing and mathematics. But the program also has a deeper goal.

“This is giving the children a chance to experiment and find out who they are” said Janice Hudson the principal at North Bridge Elementary.

The great thing about the program is that not only are students finding their voice but it also helps them in every aspect of their lives from their self esteem to school. The students who had to audition to join the academy are doing better in school in math, reading and writing.

There is no charge to the schools or to students, and transportation and snacks are also provided.

Approximately 150 students from four pilot schools are enrolled.

For more information on the Miami Choral academy log on to their Web site


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