Music is a powerful tool.

When used to address community development challenges, it can build educational equity, cultivate civic enagagement, and improve health and wellness with powerful returns, both economic and civic, for our communities.

Great Bend’s efforts to build educational equity are centered on our early childhood program, Sound Scholars™, where student learning is organized into pods. Otter Pod, for example, is for students ages 2-5.


The remarkable individuals, families and businesses who support this work with an affordable monthly gift are members of the Pod Squad.

Pod Squad Impact

Children who participate in early childhood educational programs enter school more ready to learn.

Study after study shows that kids with early childhood learning experiences not only show improved performance in reading and mathematics, but also a reduction in special education placement and grade retention and a host of additional long-term benefits. The challenge has always been making these vital experiences accessible to kids with the greeatest need and fewest resources, whether in-person or online.

Sound Scholars™ uses the horsepower that music brings to all forms of learning in fast-paced, daily classes that are as fun and effective online as they are in-person.

Today, Sound Scholars™ has served hundreds of kids in not just in Mason County, Washington where Great Bend is based, but in 34 additional states and 7 countries. And we have the opportunity to do so much more both in-person and virtually.

In the next year we hope to launch a Spanish-language version of the program both online and in-person, while building our collaborations with the Shelton and Pleasant Glade Early Learning Centers and Turninge Pointe Surivivor Advocacy Center. 

And with your help, we can.


“It was clear from the beginning of our very first virtual music lessons that Great Bend Center for Music is doing so much more than just helping kids become great musicians. I have loved watching my son practice new skills, and I have seen him develop his cooperation, teamwork, listening skills, and critical thinking along the way. Whether or not he grows up to be a musician, I am so glad he has had such a positive experience with an awesome teacher and a community.”

– Sound Scholars™ parent

Membership Tiers & Benefits

First Wave


  • You Keep Our Beat Steady & Help Make Our Programs Accessible to All!
  • Quarterly Newsletter & Annual Report
  • 15% Discount On All Fee-Based Programs
  • 15% Off Event & Concert Tickets

Second Wave


  • All First Wave Benefits, Plus:
  • Free Chorale and/or Youth Chorale Membership
  • Free Admission to All Fee-Based Programs
  • Free Event & Concert Admission

Third Wave


  • All First & Second Wave Benefits, Plus:
  • Advance Reservation Window and Priority Seating to All Events
  • Special Pod Squad Swag 
  • Acknowledgement in Annual Report

More ways to make waves!

See if your company matches donations!

Combining your company’s matching gift with our current donor pledge could mean Pod Squad Membership goes 3–4x as far to support our no and low barrier community music programs!

Enter your employer’s name in the search box below to find out if your employee offers matching donations, or contact your HR department if you are unable to locate your company — they may still provide matching gifts!

Help us spread the word!

Help introduce our work and this matching gift opportunity by sharing our posts on social media or sending this page directly to family and friends!