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Soul Drumming 101: A Lesson That Can't Be Beat

We all know there are plenty of opportunities for high school students to get involved in after school sports, but what about those kids who have other interests? Proctor High School has a new program for students to explore different options.
We all know there are plenty of opportunities for high school students to get involved in after school sports, but what about those kids who have other interests? Proctor High School has a new program for students to explore different options.
It’s called the GEAR UP Program and it’s brand new. Proctor High School teamed up with M.V.C.C. to help increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education. It may sound boring but Eyewitness News got a first-hand look at how a little drumming can go a long way.
These two students spent their Friday afternoon making what they call "hot beats." What they don't realize is that their drum sticks are a small part of a huge message.
“It's a drumming, music mentoring program but it's whatever they want to do, it's showing them that they have to work hard, nothing is going to be given you have to earn it, so if they want to be a chef, doctor, teacher, lawyer, whatever it is that they want to do, they have to give 120 percent,” says Jax Drumz.
Justin "Jax" Batle is a graduate of Proctor. He now plays music professionally and says this program is his way of giving back to his community.
"It’s every Friday after school, with a few specific students, we have fun we use the garage band app and produce tracks, we practice on the drum pads, i give them insight on marketing, promoting, things like that," says Jax Drumz.
Jax played basketball back in his Proctor days but music was always his passion. He says he's happy to show these young boys there's more to strive for than athletic success.
"When all you see is sports, you don't know that there's anything outside of sports so all your focus is on the NBA, the NFL, and if that doesn't happen a lot of people are lost, so I definitely wish I would have had something like this growing up to show me that music can be a profession,” said Jax.
The GEAR UP program starts for 7th grade students and they can continue taking courses through high school. Other courses offered under the program include study skills and college preparedness.

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