frequently asked questions
Click on a category below to search questions in that subject area.

Please send additional questions to us at info@uclartandhealing.org.

general

What volunteer opportunities, internships, fellowships, or paid positions do you have?

What volunteer opportunities, internships, fellowships, or paid positions do you have? We train people to deliver their own programs and don't have a center where we provide direct services.  If you take some of our training programs, we may be able to notify you of volunteer or paid opportunities to deliver them to community organizations that request services. We welcome professional volunteers in the domains of marketing, videography and computer technology.  We also sometimes need extra assistance at specific events or for special projects. We do not offer formal internship or fellowship opportunities. You might also contact organizations listed in our Resources section for volunteer or paid opportunities.  You can search for resources by art form and age group.  Some organizations regularly seek volunteers, such as Able Arts Work, The Miracle Project, and Theatre of HeartsInside Out Community Arts offers a series of training sessions followed by paid working opportunities in after-school middle and high school settings. If you are interested in working in an arts domain, you may also consider signing up to receive notifications from the L.A. Culture Net listserv, which lists volunteer and paid work opportunities with arts organizations.  This listserv is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. We don’t typically have paid positions available; however, we periodically need to hire research or administrative assistants.  You are welcome to submit a resume to info@uclartsandhealing.org.  We will keep it on file and refer to it as needed.
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What is your general program cancellation refund policy?

In order to keep our programs affordable yet self-sustaining, we regret that we are unable to offer refunds on enrollment fees; however, we offer credit towards a future program of your choice to be used within 12 months.  Credit can be applied toward any of our programs within 12 months.  For programs being offered at a higher fee, you would be responsible for covering any balance due.  If the program is offered at a lower fee, then you would waive any remaining balance. If you are not able to use your credit within this period, we hope you will find comfort in knowing that you are supporting a meaningful cause. There are some exceptions for specific programs that represent a larger financial commitment.  For those programs, such as the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts or Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts, there are windows of time in which cancellation refunds are possible, less an administrative fee.  We suggest that you review the information on any program thoroughly to check for specific cancellation refund policies.
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What forms of payment do you take online? In person?

We accept all major credit cards online.  You may also choose to pay by check payable to “Arts and Healing Initiative” and mail it to 2626 33rdSt Santa Monica CA 90405.  In person we accept credit cards, cash, and checks.
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I am interested in learning more about creative arts therapies. Can I schedule phone interview with an arts therapist?

Our website offers a wealth of information that may be more helpful than a phone interview.  You can download free handouts for information about the various forms of creative arts therapies through our Resources>Download Materials section.  You can view videos from a number of integrative medicine panels that we have presented at conferences to gain information about the creative arts therapies as well (see Videos section).  You can also search for literature, listservs, and organizations (like the national organizations representing the creative arts therapies, of which there are 6 - art, dance/movement, drama, music, poetry, and psychodrama) in our Resources section. The creative arts therapies are different from the therapeutic uses of the arts - which we call social emotional arts.  Social emotional arts facilitators use the arts to help people improve their social, emotional, physical or cognitive well being - often preventively, but they are not trained to identify and treat disorders, which creative arts therapists are trained to do.  Creative arts therapists are dually trained in psychotherapy and the arts, usually at a masters level, and they must complete internship and other supervision requirements in addition to the option of meeting certification or licensing requirements. If you are interested in getting into this field more quickly, we offer accessible training programs, an annual experiential training conference on “Creativity & the Arts in Healing, and a Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts.  All of this information can be found in the Programs or Services>Professional Development sections of our website.
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How do I get into the field of arts and healing?

To get into the field of arts and healing, you can look for training programs in the creative arts therapies within our Resources section. If you do not wish to enroll in a formal degree program - or even if you do - we strongly recommend that you consider taking our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA), as it will prepare you to maximize the social-emotional benefits of the arts and address practical issues that come up in community settings.  It will enhance any other education that you have received or will receive (even in creative arts therapies).  We encourage you to take a look at testimonials about the program that can be found via the SEA information page. UCLArts and Healing also offers other training programs and general public programs, all of which offer tools that can be used in working with the community, such as the Medical Social Emotional Arts training program. We encourage you to volunteer with local organizations.  You may search for them by population and art form under the Resources section of our website.  You can also find videos, downloadable arts activities, literature and listserv information in that section. Finally, UCLArts and Healing sponsors an annual conference on “Creativity & the Arts in Healing”, for experiential learning of arts-based tools for facilitating communication, building connection, promoting positive emotions, fostering engagement, reducing stress, and managing the impact of trauma (for more information, visit our Services> Professional Development section). Our Resources section also includes a listing of national and regional conferences in arts and healing.  Attending these events is a great way to acquire skills, identify passions, stay abreast of developments in the field, network, learn about opportunities, and find mentors.  We recommend that you sign up to receive our e-newsletters in order to stay connected.
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How can I get my program listed on your site?

The submissions that we list are typically those offered by organizations or practitioners with whom we already have a partnership or collaborative arrangement. We also list programs that meet our standards for social-emotional best practices and are not readily available to the public. We give special consideration to professionals with whose work we are already familiar, as well as graduates of our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts. Priority is also given to free or affordable programs offered by established and reputable organizations or professionals. Our policy is not to post information about fundraisers, unless they are for a program that is connected to us. If you feel that your program may be of interest to us, feel free to send information to us at info@uclartsandhealing.org.
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How can I become a UCLArts and Healing instructor?

UCLArts and Healing typically recruits instructors that fall into one of these categories: 1. Professionals who have completed a formal degree program in the creative arts therapies, typically involving masters level integrated training in mental health and the arts with supervised internship hours and a certification option. 2. Mental health practitioners who have created a social-emotional arts curriculum for a specific population that is well documented and tested. 3. Graduates of the UCLArts and Healing Social Emotional Arts Certificate Program who have demonstrated mastery of their training in the design and delivery of programs that maximize the social-emotional benefits of arts experiences. 4. Recruitment is also often based in knowledge of an individual’s work and recommendations from trusted sources. In addition, the proposed teaching content/format/cost needs to balance out our offerings and be of interest to our constituents, as we can best determine based on experience. If you are interested in becoming an instructor for UCLArts and Healing, we suggest that you attend one of our programs to gain understanding of our work and introduce yourself to us. You are also welcome to send website and any other information about yourself to info@uclartsandhealing.org to help us determine the goodness of fit.
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Do you offer career advice?

We offer professional development programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] and workshops [Link to Programs landing page] for the general public where you can learn specific ways of working with the arts to maximize the social-emotional and other benefits to those you serve. We suggest that you look at our program offerings [Link to Our Programs listing page] and sign up [Link to email signup form page] to receive our e-newsletter, which will keep you informed of programs and opportunities. We also recommend attending one of our upcoming programs, so you can get a feel for the profession as well as ask the instructor for advice. Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts [Link to Launching Your Career in SEA program info page in Prof. Development Section], one of our signature programs, was developed to specifically support the professional success of our trainees and those wanting to begin, or grow, their career in the field.

We also strongly suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

In the Resources area of our site, you can download free articles [Link to Download Materials landing page], research publications [Link to Literature search landing page], videos [Link to Videos listing page], and listserv [Link to Listservs search landing page], opportunities that may also be helpful in addressing your career-related questions. You can also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need assistance in your field of interest.

If you would like to speak with one of our staff members about your career, please know that we are happy to help. In an effort to maintain our focus in a rapidly growing organization with a small, but mighty, staff—and an enormous network of collaborators—we need to limit the time that we can spend on individual career consultation to ten minutes. If more time is needed, and the staff member can provide the additional assistance, we ask that you make a donation [Link to Donations page] for whatever amount reflects the value of the consultation or whatever you can afford.
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Where can I obtain services from a creative arts therapist?

You can easily search for practitioners [Link to Practitioners search landing page] by art form, age group, and region in our Resources [Link to Resources landing page] section. All practitioners must meet certain certification criteria before they can be listed on our website. You can also search by organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] to find local chapters of national creative arts therapy associations for art therapy, dance/movement therapy, drama therapy, music therapy, poetry therapy, and psychodrama. If you don’t know enough about the creative arts therapies to know whether any are the right fit for you, search the internet for YouTube videos by creative arts therapist candidates or peruse our videos section [Link to Videos listing page], which includes a number of experiential panel presentations that we have held at conferences, which will give you further information about the various creative arts therapies. There are also films from Expressive Media Institute (EMI), one of our collaborating partners, that show creative arts therapy sessions in action, with some footage of pioneers in the field.
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How can I get more information on becoming a creative arts therapist?

Creative arts therapists (i.e., art therapists, dance/movement therapists, drama therapists, music therapists, poetry therapists, psychodrama therapists) are trained in both psychotherapy and the arts—usually at the masters level—and they must complete internships and other supervision requirements, in addition to having the option of meeting certification or licensing requirements.

Many of our faculty members, particularly for our Social Emotional Arts Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page], are leaders in the creative arts therapies. And we list other recommended programs that are often taught by creative arts therapists. You could sign up for one of these programs to experience some of their processes and get further information. The nature of their group work will not necessarily reflect the kind of therapeutic relationship that goes on in individual psychotherapeutic work; however, many of the operating principles will be similar.

To nurture your interest further, we suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. Conferences are a great place to clarify your specific interests any field. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

If possible, join a listserv[Link to Listservs search landing page], so you can get pointers from professionals and understand the nature of the issues that arise in the various fields. Our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page] also lists rigorous studies [Link to Literature Search landing page], and other literature [Link to Literature search landing page] that can be easily searched by art form and/or age group. You may also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need volunteers to enable you to gain experience in your field of interest.

We also offer free downloadable materials [Link to Download Materials landing page] that offer additional information about creative arts therapies and social emotional arts as well as informative videos [Link to Videos listing page] from a number of experiential panel presentations that we have held at conferences.

Federal privacy policies prevent observation of actual therapy sessions; however, you can search the internet for YouTube videos by creative arts therapists or view films from Expressive Media Institute (EMI), one of our collaborating partners, that show creative arts therapy sessions in action, with some footage of pioneers in the field.
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How can I become more involved in the field of social emotional arts? Do I need a graduate degree, background in the arts, or training in mental health in order to work in this field?

We offer professional development programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] and workshops [Link to Programs landing page] for the general public where you can learn specific ways of working with the arts to maximize the social-emotional and other benefits to those you serve. We suggest that you look at our program offerings [Link to Our Programs listing page] and sign up [Link to email signup form page] to receive our e-newsletters, which will keep you informed of programs and opportunities. We also recommend attending one of our upcoming programs, so you can get a feel for the profession.

Our general public programs [Link to Our Programs listing page] are designed for both personal and professional benefit, while our signature training programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] have been developed for individuals who wish to serve their communities using the arts as a process for facilitating wellbeing and healing, but who do not wish to enroll in a degree program to do so. Our training programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] are specifically designed with scripted manuals to enable anyone to deliver them—even those without experience in the particular arts or mental health domains that are involved. The manuals [Link to Curriculum Materials detail listing page] that we offer can be used for self-teaching without training, although participants report that training is helpful. Our Social Emotional Arts (SEA) Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page] was developed to prepare individuals of all backgrounds to design and evaluate their own effective arts programs that maximize the social and emotional benefits to the people they serve. As part of the training, participants also learn best practices in a variety of art forms for their symbiotic benefits. With scripted materials to use, they are prepared to deal with challenges frequently encountered when working in the community, and they are educated in self-care and personal presentation. This program is ideal for those who wish to serve in the community immediately, without having to enroll in a degree program in the creative arts therapies, expressive arts therapy, or mental health and the arts.

Some of our trainees are making career shifts from another profession, such as television production or design. Others are looking to enhance what they already offer in the community or expand their offerings to other populations. And some are retirees, or people re-entering the workforce after a hiatus, and seeking a meaningful way to make a positive difference in their communities. Our trainees have included educators from Pre-K to university levels, special education teachers, community arts professionals, recent college graduates, graduate students in social sciences, mental health professionals, integrative health professionals, yoga teachers, visual and performing artists, non-profit providers, creative arts therapists, and expressive arts therapists and trainees.

Our faculty members for the SEA program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page] are leaders in the mental health professions of the creative arts therapies or community arts professionals with equivalent expertise. They teach our trainees everything that they need to know just up to the point of therapy, without crossing that line. Therapy is defined as identifying and treating a problem. The emerging profession of social emotional arts offers a life enhancement and prevention strategy. The SEA training prepares people to deliver supportive arts experiences that facilitate self-discovery, meaningful dialogue, empathy, connection, and empowerment. Our training addresses a gap of access to mental health services—without the stigma of therapy.

We also offer Launching Your Career in SEA [Link to SEA Professional Development Info page], a program developed to support the professional success of our trainees and others.

To nurture your interest further, we suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. Conferences are a great place to clarify your specific interests any field. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

If possible, join a listserv[Link to Listservs search landing page], so you can get pointers from professionals and understand the nature of the issues that arise in the various fields. Our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page] also lists rigorous studies [Link to Literature Search landing page], and other literature [Link to Literature search landing page] that can be easily searched by art form and/or age group. You may also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need volunteers to enable you to gain experience in your field of interest.

We also offer free downloadable materials [Link to Download Materials landing page] that offer additional information about creative arts therapies and social emotional arts as well as informative videos [Link to Videos listing page] from a number of experiential panel presentations that we have held at conferences.
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Do you offer career advice?

We offer professional development programs [Link to Professional Dev. Programs landing page] and workshops [Link to Programs landing page] for the general public where you can learn specific ways of working with the arts to maximize the social-emotional and other benefits to those you serve. We suggest that you look at our program offerings [Link to Our Programs listing page] and sign up [Link to email signup form page] to receive our e-newsletter, which will keep you informed of programs and opportunities. We also recommend attending one of our upcoming programs, so you can get a feel for the profession as well as ask the instructor for advice. Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts [Link to Launching Your Career in SEA program info page in Prof. Development Section], one of our signature programs, was developed to specifically support the professional success of our trainees and those wanting to begin, or grow, their career in the field.

We also strongly suggest spending some time in our Resources section [Link to Resources landing page], where you can find conferences [Link to Conferences Search landing page], sponsored by a national organization or local chapter representing your field of interest that you might want to attend. You can find out from presenters at the conference where the ideal places are to get training or who the ideal mentors are for your areas of interest.

In the Resources area of our site, you can download free articles [Link to Download Materials landing page], research publications [Link to Literature search landing page], videos [Link to Videos listing page], and listserv [Link to Listservs search landing page], opportunities that may also be helpful in addressing your career-related questions. You can also search for organizations [Link to Organizations search landing page] in your area that may need assistance in your field of interest.

If you would like to speak with one of our staff members about your career, please know that we are happy to help. In an effort to maintain our focus in a rapidly growing organization with a small, but mighty, staff—and an enormous network of collaborators—we need to limit the time that we can spend on individual career consultation to ten minutes. If more time is needed, and the staff member can provide the additional assistance, we ask that you make a donation [Link to Donations page] for whatever amount reflects the value of the consultation or whatever you can afford.
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beat the odds (bto)

How can I order a copy of the curriculum?

The curriculum manual is available via the Store section of our website.  You can choose from the manual alone or the manual with a DVD showing our LCSW co-developer delivering the program to a group of 4th grade students.  The scripted curriculum is designed for delivery via the manual alone, although we also offer 1-day trainings here in LA and occasionally in other parts of the country. You can find information about our trainings in the Programs section of our website. The Beat the Odds information page within the Resources>Professional Development section includes links to a variety of resources, such as publications, media clips (including a 10" documentary film trailer of our work), testimonials and a brief summary of the program specifically designed for administrators.
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How can I get drums on a limited budget?

UCLArts and Healing has partnered with Remo, Inc. to offer drum packages and individual percussion instruments at below-market discounted rates.  You can peruse the products that we offer through the Store section of our website and use the promo code: uclartsandhealing to receive the discount when ordering. The Remo drums that we offer are lightweight, durable, and nestable for easy storage, with interchangeable not-so-loud drumhead options.  There are also drumheads that fit on standard-sized paint buckets, and flat “Sound Shapes®” played with mallets, which offer lower cost alternatives.  You can consider purchasing a variety of instruments and have your participants share or take turns with them.  We also offer some lower cost sets that include a variety of drum and percussion instruments. If none of these items work for your budget, remember that rhythm can ultimately be made with anything; for example, you can use “found sounds” such as 2- or 5-gallon water bottles, desks, Tupperware containers, cookie tins, paint buckets turned upside down and played with turkey basters or spoons, metallic sports water bottles played with pens, and so forth.  Even a small package of disposable diapers can make a great (and not so loud) hand drum.  You can make your own shakers with plastic Easter eggs, disposable cups, recycled containers, rice or legumes, and tape. And then there is “body percussion”.  Sounds can be made with hands and feet by clapping hands, slapping thighs, stomping feet, and snapping fingers, for example.  Vocal sounds, such as percussive consonants and open vowels, can be added.  There is no limit to creativity!
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Who can deliver this program?

Anyone can deliver the program.  It does not require any previous musical experience.  The manual is scripted in a user-friendly format, for ease of use. We have observed a variety of people deliver the program – all with success:  teachers, mental health professionals, music teachers, school counselors and after school personnel, health care professionals, Boys and Girls Club staff, actors, college students, and more. The program is so engaging that even when delivered by literally reading the curriculum, participants love the experience.
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Who can benefit from this program?

While the program was designed for upper elementary-age students, it easily can be adapted to any other age group or for families.  Guidelines for adaptation for adolescents and adults can be found in the scripted manual and are discussed during the training.  In addition, a version for adolescents and adults will be available shortly. We have found that the program is perfectly suited as it is for special needs classrooms with mild to moderate disabilities.  Students with moderate to severe disabilities also benefit tremendously with a few simple adjustments to the program.
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What is the evidence of effectiveness and how was it measured?

We suggest that you check the Resources>Download Materials section for links to our published studies and a document for administrators entitled, “Beat the Odds®: A Brief Summary of an Evidence-Based Program,” which describes the program and its scientific justification in detail.  The publication entitled, “The Impact of Group Drumming on Social and Emotional Behavior in Low-Income Youth” describes the whole protocol and the theory behind its effectiveness. In our Videos section, there are also links to some film clips, including a 10-minute documentary trailer that describes our work with underserved youth and footage from our training programs, showing participants practicing facilitation of some rhythmic elements of the program.
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If I come from out of town to attend your training, where is the nearest airport, how do I find a place to stay, and how do I get around?

The nearest airport to our training location is Los Angeles International Airport. Southwest Airlines, which flies out of there, is usually not listed on search engine sites, so you would need to check into that one separately.  Southwest lets you change your own reservations without penalty but you do have to pay any fare increases that have occurred in the meantime.   They also allow a carry-on piece of luggage in additional to a personal bag for no additional charge. We suggest that you go to Google maps, then enter the address for the training location, then click on "search nearby" and enter "hotels". Priceline.com is a great way to get cheap lodgings in nicer categories.  They ask for a "zone" where you want to search, but you don’t have control over where in that zone the offer will come.  You can find out from their site what the going rate is for the class of hotel you want and then bid 40% lower that what the rate is.  (Same strategy for rental cars.)  You can also keep costs down by locating yourself near the training site. Air BnB is a fabulous way to find inexpensive lodgings in exactly the location you prefer.  You can rent a room in someone’s home, or a whole house.  Booking is online at airbnb.com. Students and renters often sublet their apartments for extra income when they are away, so Craigslist can be a good resource for these opportunities. If you need relatively inexpensive local transportation, you can always call Uber for a ride, through a downloadable cell phone application.  Or rent a car through Priceline.com.  Again, you can find out from their site what the going rate is for the class of car you want and then bid 40% lower that what the rate is.
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How much space to do I need to store drums?

We use Versa drums for our Beat the Odds® program, which are produced by Remo, Inc. These products are specifically designed for community use. They are durable, sound adjustable for sensitive ears, lightweight, and nest-able for easier storage. UCLArts and Healing has partnered with Remo, Inc. to be able to provide the community with drums and hand percussion instruments at deeply discounted prices. Use our promo code of UCLARTSANDHEALING when you place an order through our online Store.   FOR 30 DRUMS The drums nest together in groups of 3.  For 30 drums, there would be 10 groups.  Two groups can be stacked vertically on one another.  Most of the groups are the same height (all tubanos) except for two, which consist of some different types of drums (tubano, timbau and djembe combo), so they are a little taller. A stack of two groups of tubano drums will require 1 foot square land space and 51" height.  There would be three of these. A stack of a group of tubano drums and mixed drums will require 1 foot square land space and 58" height (an additional 7").  There would be two of these. Therefore in total, you would need a 5 foot square land space and 58" height to accommodate 30 drums.  For 60 drums, you would multiply this by 2. - - - - - If you do not have the height to stack 2 groups of drums on top of one another, but have the land space, just assume a 10 foot square land space to accommodate each stack of drums and a height of 32" to accommodate the tallest stacks.  For 60 drums, you would multiply this by 2. - - - - - FOR 15 DRUMS You would need a 3 foot square space and 58" height for 15 drums. If you have more land space and less height, you need a 5 foot square land space and a height of 32" to accommodate the tallest stacks.
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How do we get buy-in and funding for your program or drums?

There may be funding sources within a school's budget, such as an arts fund, that can be allocated to the purchase of drums. Beat the Odds® is a mental health as well as arts-based program; therefore, funding of drums may be justified through a variety of sources.  Grant writing through small local family foundations and fundraising through the PTA are other ways to obtain funding.  Drums can also be obtained through e-Bay and www.donorschoose.org  (for educators). The drums that we use reflect cultural diversity, and give sound and tactile gratification that comes with hitting a full-sized drum; they are designed for durability, nesting for space economy, and sound sensitivity, so we recommend them.  You can also use a variety of instruments - some large drums, flat sound shapes (made by Remo, Inc.), shakers, 5 gallon water jugs, paint buckets, homemade instruments, things you find lying around that make sounds (found sounds).  Remo Inc. offers a line of bucket drumheads that sit on conventional plastic paint buckets. We offer grants that reduce drum costs to below market rates, to make them more accessible to the community.  Visit our online Store for more information. To obtain support for this Program from administrators and other school personnel, try the following:

  1. Present our research findings and other scientific justification for drumming to your administration by sharing with them the document entitled, “Beat the Odds®: A Brief Summary of an Evidence-Based Program” which can be found in our Resources>Free Downloads section.
  2. Facilitate buy-in for the program by demonstrating the Booster Session in the curriculum with students or with staff.
  3. Showexcerpts from the training DVD, which can be purchased with a manual via our online Store, particularly the clips demonstrating the "Student-Led Call and Response – Drum in Middle" and the "reflection" (on empathy) that follows.
  4. Share detailed information on Beat the Odds®, such as links to published studies, other media articles such as those from TIME and UCLA Today, and testimonials (via our Resources>Free Downloads section), a 10-minute documentary film trailer and other video clips (via our Videos section and training programs (via our Programs section).
We also offer continuing education for mental health professionals and nurses.
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Is Beat the Odds® appropriate for severely emotionally-disturbed or students with other behavior or learning challenges?

Beat the Odds®:  Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming is an accessible, sustainable program that is evidence-based and scripted for clinical integrity and rhythmic engagement.  The school can purchase the curriculum materials and have its own personnel deliver it.  Anyone can deliver it - even without a music background.  We have found that all children benefit from boosting their core strengths; however, the greater the social-emotional needs, the greater the benefits appear to be from the program. We have just completed some research (not yet published) that showed the Beat the Odds program as tremendously useful for special needs populations - even moderate to severe autism (with some simple adaptations).  Mild to moderate needs classrooms did not require any changes to the program. We have also has success delivering Beat the Odds® as an inclusion program in schools.  Special education and general education students are paired sharing a drum, to build positive social connection and emotional well-being while learning emotional coping skills.
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How do I register for the Beat the Odds training if my employer is paying for it?

The easiest way to register is to go online and sign up for the course on our website, add the manuals to the "shopping cart", and add CEUs to the cart (as needed), and then choose the "pay by check" method, which won't charge you anything.  Then print out and take the invoice to your employer and have them make a check payable to "Arts and Healing Initiative" and follow the mailing instructions on the invoice. There are special trainee discounts for the manual and DVD.
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How can I get Beat the Odds® started in my district? How can I convince my supervisor?

One person who has made a successful business for herself delivering Beat the Odds® at the pre-kindergarten and elementary school levels got started with no experience at all. She offered free demos, saying that if they liked it they could hire her. People also started hiring her for birthday parties as well. She now needs an assistant! You can use the Beat the Odds® Booster session in the manual as a demonstration session. You can show your supervisor the part of the DVD showing the call and response with the drum in the middle activity and the reflection on empathy afterwards. You could also show your supervisor our Beat the Odds® information page (in our Services>Professional Development section) that has links to published articles, a brief summary of the program for administrators, media clips (like a 10-minute documentary trailer of our work), other media publications (like a TIME article and the lead article in UCLA Today for faculty and staff), and testimonials, including a compelling video interview with a 6th grade teacher on the value of Beat the Odds® for his classroom.
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How are the rhythmic and counseling activities integrated?

Beat the Odds® emphasizes process and not performance. It includes a therapeutic dimension involving such elements as positive affirmations, emotional coping strategies, and guided interaction with rhythmic activities serving as a metaphor for life, followed by reflection and dialogue—without the stigma of therapy. Our original published study (found in our Resources>Free Downloads section) describes some of the specific ways in which the counseling and rhythmic activities are intertwined. There are a few pure counseling activities as well – such as a guided visualization and a scripted lesson on feelings. The program can be adapted easily for other age groups and is great for families. We have found that just reading the script, anyone can deliver it effectively, and someone with rhythmic skills can make the program even more engaging for all.
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Do I need to take the training in order to be able to deliver the curriculum?

The curriculum is scripted and designed for use without having to take the training; however, people find the training invaluable for getting comfortable facilitating the rhythmic parts, learning troubleshooting and activity adaptations experientially, and reviewing all the important information in the manual. You could use the manual and order the DVD, which shows our licensed clinical social worker co-developer delivering every activity in the program to a group of 4th grade students.
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If I come from out of town to attend your training, where is the nearest airport, how do I find a place to stay, and how do I get around?

The nearest airport to the training venue, Remo Recreational Music Center, is Bob Hope Airport in Burbank. Southwest and Jet Blue, which both serve this airport, are usually the most economical, but typically don’t appear in travel search engines, so make a note to check into their rates separately. Other airlines that fly into Bob Hope Airport are listed here.

For accommodations, we would suggest that you stay within close proximity to Remo Recreational Music Center, where you can also observe a family drum circle and other free and/or affordable rhythmic activities and trainings over the training weekend and during the week. Travel search engines, as you may well know, are a great resource for finding flight deals, cheaper lodging in nicer categories, and discounted car rental offers.
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What is the evidence of effectiveness and how was it measured?

We suggest that you check the Beat the Odds information page [Link to BTO Professional Development Info Page] for links to our scientific publications and a summary for administrators that describes the program in more detail. The publication, The Impact of Group Drumming on Social and Emotional Behavior in Low-Income Youth [Link to following free download under BTO: the impact of group drumming on social-emotional behavior in low-income children], describes the whole protocol and the theory behind its effectiveness.

On the Beat the Odds information page [Link to BTO Professional Development Info Page], there are also links to BTO film clips [Link to “Our Programs” category listings in Video Section], including a 10-minute documentary trailer [Link to “American Rhythms” video within “Our Programs” Video Section] that describes our work with underserved youth, a clip of a three of our trainees practicing the facilitation of some of the rhythmic elements of the program [Link to “Beat the Odds: 4/3/11 Facilitator Training” video within “Our Programs” Video Section], Rock the Rhythm: Beat the Odds [TBD; not yet on dev site], a video of a PowerPoint presentation that I gave on our research, which includes some film clips with middle school kids doing some of the activities from our program.
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How can I get Beat the Odds started in my district? How can I convince my supervisor?

One person, who has made a successful business for herself delivering Beat the Odds at the pre-kindergarten and elementary school grade levels, got started with no experience at all. She started by offering free demos, offering the idea that if they liked it—they could hire her. People also started hiring her for birthday parties as well. She now needs an assistant!

In line with the above example, you can use the Beat the Odds Booster session in the manual [Link to BTO Manual/CD Product Detail Page] as a demonstration session. You can show your supervisor the part of the DVD [Link to BTO DVD Product Detail Page] showing the call and response with the drum in the middle activity and the reflection on empathy afterwards. You could also show your supervisor our Beat the Odds information page [Link to BTO Professional Development Info Page], that has links to published articles, a brief summary of the program for administrators, media clips (like the 10-minute documentary trailer of our work), other media publications (like a TIME article and the lead article in UCLA Today for faculty and staff), a compelling video interview with a 6th grade teacher on the value of Beat the Odds for his classroom—and tons of testimonials.
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How are the rhythmic and counseling activities integrated?

Beat the Odds uses rhythmic activities as a metaphor for life. The group processes the lessons in order to maximize understanding, internalization, and integration. Our original, published study [Link to following free download under BTO: the impact of group drumming on social-emotional behavior in low-income children] describes some of the ways in which the counseling and rhythmic activities are intertwined as well. There are also some straight counseling activities as well, such as a guided visualization (called the comfort place activity). There’s scripted lessons, such as one on feelings. In most activities, there is also reflection and sharing.
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dance for all (dfa)

Do I need to be a dance or yoga teacher to take the training?

No. We do recommend you possess a love of movement and a comfort with facilitating/teaching. Our DFA manual [TBD; not yet on dev site] makes the rest easy for you.
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Is DFA only for teaching people with special needs?

No. We have had great success teaching the curriculum to children in traditional PreK and elementary schools. It has also been taught to healthy aging older adults as well as older adults with memory issues.
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social emotional arts (SEA) certificate program

While we are learning the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts, are we allowed to begin using the tools we are learning and bring back some feedback to you and the class?We wholeheartedly support your desire to be proactive in your learning. You and your cohort will learn so much more by trying out the tools and sharing your experiences with them during the course of the program.

We wholeheartedly support your desire to be proactive in your learning.  You and your cohort will learn so much more by trying out the tools and sharing your experiences with them during the course of the program.
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What is the value of the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts?

Our Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA) was developed to prepare individuals of all backgrounds to design and evaluate their own effective arts programs that maximize social and emotional benefits to the people they serve.  As part of the training, you would learn social-emotional best practices in a variety of art forms for their symbiotic benefits – with scripted materials to use.  You will be prepared to deal with challenges frequently encountered when working at the front lines of need in the community, and will be educated in self-care and personal presentation as well.  In addition, you will learn program evaluation methods to develop an evidence-basis for adoption of your programs. While the focus is working with youth, all principles apply to working any age group or population. This program is ideal for those who wish to serve in the community immediately without having to enroll in a degree program in the creative arts therapies, expressive arts therapy, or mental health and the arts. Some of our trainees are making career shifts from another profession, such as television production or design.  Others are looking to enhance what they already offer in the community or expand their offerings to other populations.  Still others are retirees or people re-entering the workforce after a hiatus and seeking a meaningful way to make a positive difference in their communities.  Our trainees have included educators from Pre-K to university levels, special education teachers, community arts professionals, recent college graduates, graduate students in social sciences, mental health professionals, integrative health professionals, yoga teachers, visual and performing artists, nonprofit providers, creative arts therapists or expressive arts therapists and trainees, and more. Our faculty members for the SEA program are leaders in the mental health professions of the creative arts therapies or are community arts professionals with equivalent expertise.  They teach our trainees everything that they need to know just up to the point of therapy, without crossing that line.  Therapy is defined as diagnosis and treatment for a specific problem.  The emerging profession of social emotional arts offers a strategy for life enhancement and prevention.  The SEA training (with a summer intensive option) prepares people to deliver supportive arts experiences that facilitate self-discovery, meaningful dialogue, empathy, connection and empowerment.  The arts bring up emotions - and we teach our trainees how to deal with it.  Our training addresses a gap of access to mental health services – without the stigma of therapy. We suggest that you read the significance section of the program description for more details on the value of the training, as well as the trainee reflections on the SEA experience.  We also offer a program called Launching Your Career in Social Emotional Arts to support the professional success of our trainees and others.  All of this information can be found in the Programs or Services>Professional Development sections of our website.
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What is the difference between the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts and the Medical Social Emotional Arts Program?

The program in Medical Social Emotional Arts (MedSEA) is somewhat of a consolidated version of the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA).  The main difference between the two, besides time commitment and homework (which we call "pre-session assignments" which consist mostly of reflection upon videos/articles and some journaling/art projects) is that SEA prepares people to develop and deliver their own curricula in addition to learning pre-scripted curricula, and MedSEA offers instruction only in the use of pre-scripted curricula with basic guidelines for the social emotional arts process. SEA is 56 hours over 8 days, with time spent on assignments outside of class including a final presentation and report, and the MedSEA program is 12-14 hours over 2 days.
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If I come from out of town to attend your training, where is the nearest airport, how do I find a place to stay, and how do I get around?

The nearest airport to our training location is Los Angeles International Airport. Southwest Airlines, which flies out of there, is usually not listed on search engine sites, so you would need to check into that one separately.  Southwest lets you change your own reservations without penalty but you do have to pay any fare increases that have occurred in the meantime.   They also allow a carry-on piece of luggage in additional to a personal bag for no additional charge. We suggest that you go to Google maps, then enter the address for the training location, then click on "search nearby" and enter "hotels". Priceline.com is a great way to get cheap lodgings in nicer categories.  They ask for a "zone" where you want to search, but you don’t have control over where in that zone the offer will come.  You can find out from their site what the going rate is for the class of hotel you want and then bid 40% lower that what the rate is.  (Same strategy for rental cars.)  You can also keep costs down by locating yourself near the training site. Air BnB is a fabulous way to find inexpensive lodgings in the location you prefer.  You can rent a room in someone’s home, or a whole house.  Booking is online at airbnb.com. Students and renters often sublet their apartments for extra income when they are away, so Craigslist can be a good resource for these opportunities. If you need relatively inexpensive local transportation, you can always call Uber for a ride, through a downloadable cell phone application.  Or rent a car through Priceline.com.  Again, you can find out from their site what the going rate is for the class of car you want and then bid 40% lower that what the rate is.  Once you arrive, carpooling with other participants may also be a possibility.
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How might I benefit from this program if my goal is not to facilitate programs, and I am anxious about some of the interactive stuff?

The interactive experiences facilitate insight, meaningful dialogue, and laughter, and our trainees report that the experiences are professionally and personally transformational. We have had numerous participants who expected the interactive parts to be scary, but they were surprised at how they stretched and grew as a result.  The program is about what we learn about ourselves in the process of creative expression without emphasis on product or performance.  This minimizes self-consciousness and self-judgment that interferes with creative expression.  The program also gradually builds to prepare everyone for more participation over time. We suggest that you read the testimonials at the end of the information page for the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts for that can be found within our Services>Professional Development section.
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How intensive is the homework for the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts?

The homework takes time, but is not too labor intensive per se.  It mostly requires learning from inspirational videos and articles, and asks for brief personal/professional reflection on the material (and not a regurgitation of information).  There is some journaling of observations and a little art making.  The final presentation and report is begun from the first day of class and worked on during each session to facilitate completion.  
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How do I introduce what I have learned from the Certificate Program into schools?

There are several ways that you could introduce social emotional arts to the schools. Through the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts (SEA), you will learn how to identify the needs of the population that you would like to serve based on existing research in order to justify your approach.  The more you can design your program to meet the needs of the population you wish to serve, the more likely you are to get an opportunity. Schools also want evidence-based programs.  The SEA program will teach you how to create the evidence-basis for any program that you design. You will learn how to evaluate your program to provide evidence of its effectiveness and to improve the quality of your services.  Our Resources section also offers a list of high quality literature searchable by art form and age group that can be used as justification for your programs. The SEA program will prepare you to explain how the activities that you will offer meet some social, emotional or cognitive goals that a school would have for its students.  All of the activities that we teach you will be labeled according to which social-emotional-cognitive objectives that they meet.  Schools are desperate for new tools to engage students and build community.  They are concerned with behavior problems such as inattention and bullying that interfere with learning. Offering to do a free demo is often a way to get schools to see the value of what you offer.  Then they develop the will to find the funds to pay for services.  In some schools, PTAs can help support the need for programs and equipment.  Or classroom teachers can create a wish list on DonorsChoose.org.
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Does the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts count towards creative arts therapy or mental health degree programs?

In order to keep costs down for registrants, the Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts is not being run through the university and doesn't yield a formal academic transcript. Therefore, it is unlikely to count towards a creative arts therapy or mental health degree program. However, the training will uniquely supplement any training that you may get in creative arts therapies or mental health because it addresses challenges typically encountered in community work as well as best practices in multiple art forms. As such, it is likely to impress any admissions committee. And owing to the relevance of the training to the creative arts therapies and other mental health professions, it may be worth an inquiry as to whether full or partial credit for the training may be possible.
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How intensive is the SEA homework?

The homework is not too labor intensive. It mostly requires viewing videos and reading articles, and asks for a brief personal/professional reflection on the material (and not a regurgitation of the information). There is some journaling of observations. The final presentation and report is begun from the first day of class and is worked on at the end of each session to facilitate completion by the end of the program.
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How do I introduce what I have learned from the SEA program into schools?

There are several ways that you could introduce social emotional arts to the schools. Through the SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page], you will learn how to identify the needs of the population that you would like to serve based on existing research, in order to justify your approach. The more you can design your program to meet the needs of the population you wish to serve, the more likely you are to receive an opportunity.

Schools also want evidence-based programs. The SEA program will teach you how to create the evidence-basis for any program that you design. You will learn how to evaluate your program to provide evidence of its effectiveness and to improve the quality of your services. We also have an extensive, easy-to-search Resources Section [Link to General Research Landing Page] that includes studies [Link to Literature Resource Search Page] that can be used as justification for your program.

The SEA program will prepare you to explain how the activities that you will offer meet some social, emotional or cognitive goals that a school would have for its students. All of the activities that we teach you will be labeled according to which social-emotional-cognitive objectives that they meet. Schools are desperate for new tools to engage students and build community. They are concerned with behavior problems such as inattention and bullying that interfere with learning.

Offering to do a free demo is often a way to get schools to see the value of what you offer. Then they develop the will to find the funds to pay for services. In some schools, PTAs can help support the need for programs and equipment and classroom teachers can create a wish list on DonorsChoose.org.
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While enrolled in the SEA Certificate Program, are we allowed to begin using the tools we are learning and bring back some feedback to you and the class?

We wholeheartedly support your desire to be proactive in your learning. You and your cohort will learn so much more by trying out the tools and sharing your experiences with them during the course of the program.
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Does the SEA program count towards creative arts therapy degree programs?

The SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] does not lead to an official university transcript that could be applied towards a degree program, but you may inquire as to whether or not it may apply to an alternate route program (e.g., in drama therapy, dance/movement therapy, or expressive arts therapy) that accepts relevant other coursework.

The program does, however, offer practical tools for dealing with the real world—especially if working with groups of children or adolescents—that you wouldn't necessary get in a creative arts therapy program. The program also teaches participants about best practices in a variety of art forms, as they are symbiotic and—in combination—can lead to stronger behavior outcomes.

The instructors for the SEA program are largely creative arts therapists from different disciplines, whom are top experts in their professions.
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How might I benefit from the SEA Certificate Program if my goal is not to facilitate programs, and I am anxious about some of the interactive stuff?

The interactive experiences facilitate insight, meaningful dialogue, and laughter—and our trainees report that the experiences are professionally and personally transformational. We have had numerous participants who expected the interactive parts to be scary, but they were surprised at how they stretched and grew as a result. Our SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] is about what we learn about ourselves in the process of creative expression, without emphasis on product or performance. This minimizes self-consciousness and self-judgment that interferes with creative expression. The program also gradually builds to prepare everyone for more participation over time.
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What is the value of the SEA Certificate Program?

A wide variety of people participate in our SEA Certificate Program [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] classroom teachers, community arts professionals, performing artists, non-profit staff, mental health professionals, early childhood educators, expressive arts therapy trainees, recent college grads seeking professional inspiration and education, yoga teachers—basically anyone who thinks that this education would enhance what they do, or want to do, in the community.

A former designer, who became a facilitator of art programs for cancer patients at Cedars-Sinai, now knows how to maximize the social-emotional benefits for the people she serves. A former wellness consultant who works at places like Torrance Memorial (offering massage, Reiki, etc.) has now expanded her business to include facilitating drumming in schools.

The value is learning how to create an effective therapeutic experience for the people you serve, if you don't want to enroll in a degree program in creative arts therapies or mental health. While the focus is working with youth, all the principles transfer over to working with any age group.

The arts bring up emotions—and we teach our trainees how to deal with them in a healthy way. Learn more about the value of this innovative program in the significance section [Link to SEA Professional Development Info Page] of our SEA information page.
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