Programs We Support
Walk the Beat is an organization dedicated to promoting a healthier community through music. Here are some of the programs we help organize and support.
Repeat the Beat
Larry Halverson, board member of Walk The Beat, started Repeat the Beat out of Loutit District Library in Grand Haven. Larry, who is also the Community Relations Coordinator at the library, has put together a program to encourage members of our community to donate their old instruments, so that others may use them.
“We all have a bunch of old items collecting dust in our closets and if one of those things happens to be an instrument, we’d like to put it in the hands of someone who could make good use of it,” says Halverson.
Walk the Beat believes everybody should have access to musical instruments, regardless of demographic or economic background, and Repeat the Beat helps as many people as possible. Examples of who Repeat the Beat gives to are underfunded musical education programs and public schools, youths without access to instruments, and anybody who believes their lives would be bettered by learning a new skill.
Requests and donations for instruments can be made to the Loutit District Library
Kevin DePree has mastered a way to share his love of music and demonstrate to audiences how science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) work in harmony to make improvements in our world.
DePree's STEAM Skills program for schools is engaging, interactive and educational for young children and can easily be adapted for older students and more advanced audiences. The program encourages creativity, problem solving, and critical thinking. Students are amazed at how a simple two-piece acoustic drum set evolves into an exciting, flashing lights, talking, electronic drum set with computer- generated sounds - all because aspects of science, technology, engineering, arts and math work collaboratively.
Students love the music and lights and are intrigued by what can be done with a little creativity and ingenuity. He encourages students to listen and be curious.
"By being a respectful listener during the assembly, you have learned many things about the drums, technology and how STEAM skills affect my job. I created everything you saw during the assembly today because I was a good listener and I asked questions about what I wanted to learn. And you can do the same thing. Be curious, ask questions and listen."
Walk the Beat is proud to support any program that furthers education and inspiration through music.
Juvenile Detention Center
Walk the Beat has partnered with the Michigan Juvenile Detention Centers to provide musical opportunity to troubled kids and teens. It has been shown that most underage offenders lack an extracurricular activity; so in order to reduce the re-offense rate and make a positive impact, Walk the Beat provides lessons and entry-level instruments to these young people.
It started with an Ottawa County Police Officer approached us with the idea, and since then the program has spread into multiple other counties. The results have been overwhelmingly positive, and has allowed an healthier outlet for troubled young people in the area.
Lessons for Children
We provide music lessons to those who desire to learn a new skill, and pay the teachers so that they may continue teaching the craft. We’ve helped so many kids get involved in a new hobby and skill they wouldn’t have otherwise had exposure to.
One example is a ten year old who had lost his sight; he came from a single-parent home and desperately wanted to learn to play the piano. Piano teachers, especially those who can teach a handicapped child, are quite expensive – but Walk the Beat was able to provide this child with the means to fulfill his dream and learn a skill, regardless of his economic situation.
These sort of situations are what Walk the Beat believes make for a healthier community.
Young musicians, especially children, often don’t know where to begin when they want to start sharing their gift. We provide a platform for musicians to develop their skills, stage presence and confidence through our festivals, events and seminars.
Some of which include the Grand Haven Arts Festival, the Sounds of Summer Concert Series, the Seven Steps Up Open Mic, and the Walk the Beat Event itself.