United Sound opens doors for special needs

Part of United Sound is sharing the fun of music as seen with these two who are working on the xylophone.

Brianna Calderon, Reporter

Last year, a program called United Sound came to the school.

United Sound is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving special needs students a musical experience.

The program is mostly student lead by peer mentors who learn specific ways to teach the learning musicians an instrument of their choice.

This year there are about 15 peer mentors and five new musicians. Two of the students  are learning to play the trombone, two are learning the euphonium, and one is learning to play the xylophone.

The primary purpose is to give the individuals the chance not only to be able to learn an instrument, but to interact with other students and perform.

Chad Coughlin, band director, said, “They don’t get many opportunities to do that stuff.”

Although the program is a good experience, there are challenges. One of the biggest challenges is getting to know the different learning styles of the students.

Since the new musicians learn at different paces, the peer mentors also get to know the students they work with and modify the music to match their progress.

Despite starting up the program a couple months late this year, training musicians are making good progress.

“I think because we have some veterans, we feel a little bit more comfortable,” Coughlin stated.

The new musicians have a possible recital coming up this month as well as performing with the Wind Ensemble at the band program’s spring concert in May. Coughlin said, “I think it’ll be great.”