Bridging Education and Art Together (or BEAT) implements semi-private beatboxing sessions that serve to overcome speech disorders in youth.
Executive Director James Kim has taken his passion of hip hop culture and teamed up with instructors Arabelle Luke, Mark Martin and Kaila Mulladviay, and certified speech pathologist, Ali Schmitz, to make speech therapy more fun, rewarding and accessible. The pilot program hosted at The Ark: Home of The Sacred Arts Research Foundation, caters to 5 through 7 year olds, many coming from bilingual households, and facing a variety of articulation and phonemic issues.
This alternative method of speech therapy targets specific sounds, encourages repetition, and fosters a stronger understanding of the relationship between words. Like "putting veggies in the fruit smoothie" as Beat Rockers members say, students have fun and make music all the while practicing crucial language skills. While speech impediments oftentimes prove isolating for children, BEAT Rockers enables students to connect with parents and develop bonds with their peers over a shared interest in music.