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Rising middle schoolers can join chorus, band

COVINGTON -- Rising sixth-grade students have the opportunity to make a decision about some classes they can take in middle school.

They have the opportunity to register for the band or chorus program at their future middle school. Band and chorus are exploratory courses that are part of every middle school curriculum in Newton County and is not an extra curricular activity.

The band and chorus program are yearlong classes that students attend during one of their exploratory class periods. Students must enroll in them at the beginning of the school year.

Students starting this program do not have to read music and do not have to know what instrument they wish to play or be able to sing well. Students will have a chance to explore the differences in band instruments and explore various voice parts during the first part of the school year.

The Newton County School System reported that current research shows that music enhances higher brain function, teaches the habit of excellence, improves reading and math performance, builds teamwork skills and enhances cooperation, raises IQ and SAT scores, provides self-paced learning and mental concentration, develops higher critical thinking skills and prepares children for the futures.

Many of the band and chorus students receive honors and awards. The most successful band and chorus students in Newton County have already been awarded scholarships to attend summer music camps on major college campuses and are preparing themselves to pursue college scholarships for their educational future.

To register for the band or chorus program, parents must complete a form and return it to the band or chorus director at the middle school their children are planning to attend prior to May 24.

Any questions should be directed to Christine Kraemer, music K-12 content specialist for NCSS, at Kraemer.Christine@newton.k12.ga.us or 770-786-7311.