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It’s time for current Newton County fifth-grade students to start planning for their move to middle school. One of the options available to all current fifth-graders is the opportunity to participate in a middle school band or chorus program next year.

According to Ms. Christine Kraemer, band director at Cousins Middle School, band and chorus are exploratory courses that are a part of every middle school curriculum in Newton County School System (NCSS). They are not considered an extra-curricular activity.

“The band and chorus programs are yearlong classes that students attend during one of their exploratory class periods,” said Kraemer. “Students starting this program do not have to know how to read music and they don’t even have to know what instrument they wish to play. The same thing goes for chorus. We don’t require prior training or even the ability to read music. The students will have the opportunity to explore the differences in band instruments or various voice parts during the first part of the school year.”

She added that many studies have shown that music education increases early brain development and improves students’ overall academic performances.

Rising sixth-graders wishing to register for a middle school band or chorus program should complete a registration form, which can be downloaded from the NCSS website at (see below for form) and return it to the band or chorus director at the middle school they are planning to attend by May 22. Parents or students with questions about middle school band or chorus may contact Ms. Kraemer, who also serves as the NCSS K-12 Music Content Specialist, at or by phone at 770-786-7311.

Click here to download a registration form for 6th-grade middle school band/chorus.