A good friend of mine recently set up youth beats in Colorado. The focus of YB is to expose and educate kids on music, and all different styles and genres. I just wanted to throw a shout out to Mark with Youth Beats and to Mr. R at Patio Splash Hot tubs, (patiosplash.com).
Youth Beats, know as YB, holds classes and experiences for Northern Colorado Youth. They target all youth, but also focus on working with kids with Autism. The goal was for a positive outlet that explores the art of music and non traditional, non mainstream artists from past and present.
Mr. R, with Patio Splash has donated to provide YB with instruments and equipment for YB to play with, practice on, and use for the development of their own skills.
Currently there are 17 kids involved with YB. 8 are autistic. There is a lot of separation in the world in education. Whether you are gifted, or take “special classes”, there is separation. Understandable as it is, it also tends to create misconceptions and insecurities in kids. Mark, creator of YB, really wanted to develop unity and community with youth. Acknowledging that everyone is different, learns differently, brings forward individual talents, strengths and weaknesses, his vision is everyone learning, participating, and working together.
Autism has proliferated in youth within the past decade. There have been many studies that show that those with Autism respond extremely well to music and sound. Music is one thing to be able to grab the attention of a child with autism. Again, without keeping it separate to just kids with the disorder, he opened up to all.Judgement is not part of the program. Rather than be super intense about it, he leads by not judging and encourages through his actions for others to do the same. Those that become part of YB, understand a few things. When they forget, he holds up his card and they all reach for theirs and do the same. No one is called out, Mark just sends a reminder to all of why they are here.
They are given a card to keep in there pockets that says:
I am me. He is he. She is she. We are here to explore and create with I, he and she. In consideration and honor of all, I am here to be part of YB.
His current focus is on sound with no words. His group is exploring sound in the form of beats both organic and in organic. They are exploring more of what sound feels like at this time.
I had the opportunity to join in the group and see what they were going on. It truly was powerful. There was something I witnessed that cannot be explained. Maybe it was the body language and raw vulnerability that was apparent, or maybe it was the fact that kids of all sizes, ages and learning abilities were creating something beautiful, with no negative forces. I am not 100% sure, but what I witnessed nearly brought me to tears.
I applaud Mark for what he is doing. He himself is a real artist in music and in life. Thanks Mr. R for giving to Marks vision. It is a powerful one that is bridging positivity, art and people.