Beat Therapy
Engaging communities through musicMusic Community Service in the Greater St. Louis area


Beat Therapy is a music community service group of Washington University in St. Louis. We understand that music can create unique environments that cross boundaries of age, race, economic status and personal background. Using this knowledge, Beat Therapy strives to engage multiple populations throughout the St. Louis area in creative ways in order to heal, learn, experience joy, and develop relationships that challenge all participants to become socially aware.

Growing every semester, Beat Therapy consists of 9 programs and interest from over 400 students.

We add new programs every semester so make sure to check out our current programming page to see what we’re up to. All WashU students are welcome to volunteer and musical skill is not required. Just send us an email, fill out our contact form, or stop by our table at the activities fair to sign up!

Ashland Elementary

Beat Therapy’s program at Ashland Elementary School aims to foster confidence in young people to be musicians beyond the traditional, professional sense. Through music we create a social environment where kids learn to express emotions, work as a team, practice creativity, and pursue curiosity, all while building relationships among each…

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Bach to Rock

  Bach to Rock aims to provide musical enrichment and education for patients. Every week we hold sessions both at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and at Shriner’s Hospital for Children where we engage patients of all ages in different music related activities. Through music, we hope to provide opportunities to…

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    Re-founded in 2013 after a two year hiatus, Beat Therapy’s CRASH is WashU’s premiere nontraditional percussion group. With repertoire featuring predominately improvisational themes, CRASH aims to explore the sounds of nontraditional instruments like buckets, pots, pans, etc. to create a unique performance experience for their audiences. The group…

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Easter Seals

Beat Therapy’s program with the Autism Services division of Easter Seals Midwest is dedicated to creating innovative lesson plans which emphasize a personhood-first approach to empower the children we interact with to make music with us and with each other. Each volunteer is paired with a “buddy” for the hour…

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Hazelwood High School

This program is brand new this year! We will be working with a classroom of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The primary goal of the program is to help the students improve social skills and build community! Activities include forming a percussion ensemble and using ASL to…

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Hillside Manor

Hillside Manor is a healthcare and rehabilitation center that endeavors to provide its patients with healing and peace of mind. At Hillside Manor, Beat Therapy volunteers strive to form relationships with residents through a shared love for music–using music as a catalyst for connection and understanding that transcends differences in…

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Juvenile Detention Center

Through our volunteer work at the local St. Louis Juvenile Detention Center, we aspire to use music as a mechanism for social change. Using music-interpretation activities, songwriting workshops, as well as art and theater projects, we facilitate conversations between the residents and Washington University students, and to give a voice…

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