The virtual beatboxing workshops at ADAPT are booming! In partnership with the BEAT, we offer beatbox workshops to people supported. BEAT (Bridging Education and Art Together) believes in the transformative power of Hip Hop to uplift and heal our bodies and minds. The organization aims to provide inclusive, accessible arts education rooted in Hip Hop culture for youth in underrepresented communities and people with disabilities.
The Community Outreach team discovered BEAT while attending the monthly Supporting Transitions meeting hosted by the Museum of Arts and Culture Access Consortium. Shaniece Frank (Assistant Director, Community Outreach) and Camila Kann (Theater Specialist) became excited about their work and knew that the people support by ADAPT would love this opportunity. After further discussion with Brittany Wilson, the Program Director at BEAT, the organization generously offered three free workshops with a professional beatboxer.
The workshop began in February and became an instant hit as persons supported were eager to join and engage in each session. Some participants even created a DJ name to go along with their newly found beatboxing skills. Michael, who is known as “DJ Wheels” and Matthew, “DJ Pookie”. Although Maurice does not have a DJ name, he goes by “Mo Barz”. Our Music Specialist, Jesse Kral, works collaboratively with Edgar Garcia Cruz from BEAT to offer a fun and interactive workshop by getting everyone to participate regardless of their abilities.
Jesse is a self-learned musician who has been making music for nine years. “Teaching people with disabilities is not much different than people without them. Everyone has their strong suits, and I like to think that my specialty is bringing out the best in everyone,” says Jesse. “It’s so much fun. I’ve had my fair share of breathtaking moments in the studio with my students at ADAPT.”
For Edgar working with people with disabilities has been an eye-opening experience. “The whole experience has been a lesson in empathy and inclusivity in the way I speak, teach and conduct myself with them,” says Edgar. “They are always eager to jump in and participate in whatever activity we might be doing in class, so it’s a lot of fun as well.”
The participants enjoy the sessions with both Jesse and Edgar and appreciate how they collaborate to make the session fun and interactive. “I enjoyed meeting Edgar. He did a really great job throwing ideas back and forth with Jesse when they played together”, says Matthew.
According to Edgar, the essential beatboxing components are the willingness to be bold and explore your identity through creating your sounds. Also, doing exercises to help improve posture and breathing. “I enjoy the exercises that we do during the activities,” Maurice says. “The most challenging part is moving your mouth to make certain sounds.” Participants grew a deeper appreciation for beatboxing because after practicing and learning from Edgar and Jesse, they understood the complexities of beatboxing. “I like learning how your mouth can create different sounds depending on how you shape it,” Michael says. “It’s challenging but fun and something new to try.”
The Community Outreach team looks forward to working with BEAT to offer more workshops to allow people supported to develop their skills and work towards a future performance.