GERMANTOWN, Wis. — Students at Germantown High School are uniting through sound in a national program being offered at the school.
It’s the only school in Wisconsin to offer the United Sound program. While it is a simple program, the benefits can be life changing.
Germantown High School Band Director Jonathan Bell said in the program, they pair up a musician with disabilities with three of their high school music students.
Since starting the program four years ago, it has seen significant growth.
“Our first year, we had three musicians. This year we have seven, which is a great number for what we have now,” explained Bell.
The program helps meet new musicians where they’re at. Peer mentors, such as Molly Theys, work to create equitable opportunities for all students.
“I think that it shows we are really pushing forward and showing how much we can help with that. It is pretty cool that we are the first in the state to offer this program,” said Theys, junior president of United Sound at Germantown High School.
But the program is about much more than just music — it’s about relationships.
“Not only are they together during our United Sound time, but I see them in the hallway and during passing time. They will say hello to each other in the hallway and in the lunchroom. It is a great friendship,” said Bell.
It’s a program that’s helping bring high school students of all ability levels together for music.
“It is just amazing what Germantown does with inclusion with all of the students throughout the entire curriculum. From when I was in high school to seeing how these kids interact with each other is a world of a difference and it makes each person involved a better person with accepting of everyone else,” said Bell. “Getting to use music to make those connections is a fantastic way to accomplish these goals.”
Bell said he hopes other districts in the state will soon offer United Sound.