In Case Study: Peers Support Peers at a United Sound Chapter in Missouri, we looked at how Parkway Central Middle School's band members have embraced being peer mentors to special-needs students through United Sound, a nonprofit that provides musical performance experiences for special-needs children.
Are you interested in starting a United Sound chapter at your school? You can get started by following a few easy steps.
First, this program is a partnership between music and special education teachers. If you already know someone in the special education department, reach out to him or her and then complete the teacher registration form on UnitedSound.org. If not, register alone and United Sound will send you materials for starting that conversation.
Once registered, both teachers will participate in a training session to learn everything they will need to know and to get comfortable "trading roles." Special education teachers have the primary role of training and helping the Peer Mentors, while music teachers will continue to do what they do best: Teach music to the New Musicians. In this way, teachers aren't expected to do anything they're not already comfortable doing. Following the training session, both teachers will receive everything they need to get students registered, train Peer Mentors and begin!
United Sound is a turnkey program and includes training sessions for the Peer Mentors (including videos and materials), specialized method books to help guide Peer Mentors in the teaching process, and lessons plans to get your group started.
This article originally appeared in the 2019 V3 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.