A program review at P.E.I.'s Eastern School District has led to a decision to phase out the strings music program.

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There has been declining interest in the strings program, says Tammy Hubley-Little. (CBC)

The program was offered at five schools, with students able to start the program in Grade 4 or Grade 7. Students currently in the program will be able to finish, but no new students were taken on at the beginning of this school year.

Tammy Hubley-Little, head of curriculum delivery with the Eastern School District, said the board made the decision in the spring. A review showed increasing demands on teaching time, especially around literacy, and a declining interest in strings.

Cello teacher Natalie Williams-Calhoun is part of a group trying to fight the decision. The Friends of P.E.I. Strings wants members and parents to write to politicians to pressure them to reinstate the program. They say playing violin develops motor skills, teamwork, and brain development.

The school and Friends of P.E.I. Strings are discussing a compromise that would see the program return as an extra-curricular activity.