How do we use the power and scope of Hip Hop and the Cypher to connect teachers and students, guarantee engagement, and instill leadership and confidence?



25% of high school freshmen fail to graduate from high school on time.

The U.S. now ranks 22nd out of 27 developed countries.


Every 26 seconds of the school day a student drops out.


Students in low-income neighborhoods with little to no arts engagement are five times more likely to drop out than their peers with access to arts education.

Schools with music programs have a graduation rate of 90.2%, as opposed to a 72.9% dropout rate in schools without music programs.

Youth with access to high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests than their peers with deficient music programs, regardless of socioeconomic status or school district.

1. Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Completion Data. 2. Banchero, Stephanie. "High-School Graduation Rate Inches Up." The Wall Street Journal. N.p., 22 Jan. 2013. Web. 3. Remarks by U.S. Deputy Secretary Tony Miller at the Church of God in Christ's International AIM Convention in Houston, Texas. 4. James Catterall, University of California Los Angeles, et al. The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth: Findings from Four Longitudinal Studies. 5. Harris Interactive Inc. (2006). Understanding the Linkages Between Music Education and Educational Outcomes. 6. Johnson, C. M. & Memmott, J. E. (2007). Examination of relationships between participation in school music programs of differing quality and standardized test results. Journal of Research in Music Education, 54(4), 293-307.


Teaching The Teacher

To fully engage students, BEAT Global trains and employs Teaching Artists who are not only at the top of their respective fields creatively, but also have years of experience in committed mentorship. Our Instructors are trained and certified based on their ability to meet students with presence and encouragement, work effectively with youth from diverse backgrounds, and collaborate with students to create a classroom culture that upholds tenets of respect, leadership, teamwork, and community. Our instructors are part artists, part teachers, part mentors - and fully committed to each and every young person they work with. The foundation of the BEAT Global Teaching Artist is “show not tell” - that is, to have all motivations and successes rooted in action, rather than theory.


Cypher-Based Pedagogy

A cypher (or cipher) is an informal gathering of rappers, singers, beatboxers, and/or Bboys (break-dancers) in a circle, in order to jam musically together. In an educational setting, the cypher becomes the space for learning as well as fun. What makes a cypher-based pedagogy so effective and forward-thinking is its universal appeal and ability to forge a sense of community, trust, and respect in any group of young people. In the cypher, each individual is equal and no voice is greater or lesser. This creates a space where students are free to express themselves and listen to their peers without judgment - opening the doors for collaboration. From this fertile ground, seeds of leadership are planted as students take control of their own learning, building a profound sense of agency and confidence.


AIM - Artistry, Instruction, and Mentorship

Our AIM is to provide committed Artistry, Instruction, and Mentorship. Artistry is the mastery of artistic skills through real world experience, coupled with a unique creative flair. Instruction speaks to the ability to effectively impart one’s skills upon an individual with no prior experience in the subject. Mentorship refers to a connection built upon trust, acknowledgment, and understanding a student’s needs. A mentor has the ability to consistently show up with loving guidance with discipline.

AIM Methodology and Cypher-Based Pedagogy created by Y? for Creative Expressions, 2016.



“Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferals of information.”
Paulo Friere, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Created by Clara Waloff for El Puente Global Justice Institute, 2014.
Created by Clara Waloff for El Puente Global Justice Institute, 2014.

BEAT Global utilizes the Participatory Action Research (PAR) method which conveys qualitative program assessments based on Paulo Freire’s seminal work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. By placing the voices and direct feedback of the students and teachers at the forefront, we assess the effectiveness of our programs based on the direct experience of participants. This not only contributes to our understanding of program impact, but also encourages youth to be critically engaged in their own learning process. In this sense, PAR is about cultivating a profound sense of self-awareness and agency within one's education.



Space for Freedom of Expression

Collaboration Culture


Creative Solution Focused vs. Problem Focused

Builds Crucial Life Skills

School as a Global Community, Rather Than an Institution


Unlocks Pure Potential

Achieves Personal Growth

Expansion of Professional Perspective