A deaf student joins the drums of the high school marching band

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WJLA) — A 17-year-old high school student in Virginia is the first deaf member of the Woodson High School marching band.

“They told me they had never seen deaf people in a marching band,” said Michael Gouin.

But looking at the drum line, you would never know that a student is unable to hear.

“I’m deaf so I can’t hear, but I can feel it vibrate. That’s why the bass is very strong, you can feel it vibrating, right? Gouin explained.

He uses his cochlear implant but says it’s not without its challenges.

“Every time the drums die, everything is quiet. I can’t hear anything. So it’s really hard to hear, but at least I can see the drum major,” Gouin said.

At first, the teenager used an American Sign Language interpreter; now it no longer needs it for gaming performance.

“Being deaf doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. You can do anything – just try to see what will happen. Just as I joined the marching band. I never give up. We are like a normal person,” Gouin said.

After high school, the teenager said he hopes to attend Galludet University and also hopes to try out for the Baltimore Ravens marching band.

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