United Sound is a school-based instrumental music club for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their peers. Dedicated to promoting social involvement through shared ensemble performance experience, the organization enables music students with and without disabilities to learn and perform in band or orchestra together.
The program is run primarily by a school's band or orchestra director and a special education teacher, with support from United Sound in the form of specialized training, financial support and organizational resources. Students who participate in United Sound programs are called "New Musicians." With assistance from student volunteers known as "Peer Mentors," they learn to play the instrument of their choice at a personally modified level. Working first in lesson format and ultimately transitioning to rehearsals with recorded music, the New Musicians learn a piece of music that they then perform live in concert, once per semester, along with their Peer Mentors and a full instrumental support ensemble.
Making music together is a powerful force for learning, growth, friendship and understanding. Music is a language that transcends disability and the relationships formed through this unique program truly resonate with all children involved.
See how the United Sound programs benefit teachers, students and parents: