Beat the Odds Facilitator Training: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming

BTO Logo_WebBeat the Odds integrates the power of contemporary drum circles and group counseling to build core strengths such as focusing and listening, team building, leadership, expressing feelings, managing anger/stress, empathy, and gratitude. It is inclusive, culturally relevant, and does not bear the stigma of therapy.

UCLA researchers have shown that Beat the Odds can significantly reduce a spectrum of behavior problems in children, such as those associated with inattention, withdrawn/depression, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, attention deficit/hyperactivity, oppositional defiance, and sluggish cognitive tempo.

bto-training_large-groupWhile this program has been designed for use with elementary age children, it can be easily adapted to any population, including older children, families, and older adults. The program can serve a whole classroom at a time and is designed for delivery by school personnel or those without musical experience. Many mental health professionals and teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District and in Santa Clarita Valley have received training in Beat the Odds. No musical experience is necessary to be trained as a Beat the Odds facilitator.

To learn more about the Beat the Odds program, including watching demonstrations and listening to testimonials, visit our videos page, or read publications and media articles featuring Beat the Odds.

training material & special promotions:

Written by the Beat the Odds® program developers, the easy-to-follow manual contains the scripted curriculum and booster/demo session. Full of pointers, explanations of the purposes of each activity, and guidelines for managing activities, behavior, and logistics, the manual and accompanying DVD (which showcases each activity in the program) is the ideal pair to learn the BTO program at home, or as part of the facilitator training.

Special program and training material promotions include:

  • When registering for the BTO training, trainees can also purchase the accompanying BTO training materials for 30% off. After adding the training to your cart below, the promotional-offer pop-up will appear. Simply select which BTO training materials you would like to purchase, add it to your cart, and the 30% off-discount will be automatically applied in your shopping cart.

  • Second-time, repeat participants can take the training for half price by entering BTO50 in the coupon-code field during checkout.

  • Participants taking the training for the third time (or more) can enroll for a quarter of the price by entering BTO75 in the coupon-code field during checkout.

  • Special discount for school personnel: Full-time elementary, middle, or high school personnel may enroll at a $5 discount by entering BTOTEACHER in the coupon-code field during checkout.


Saturday, May 5, 2018


10:00 to 4:30 pm



Add CEs to cart.


Ping Ho, MA, MPH
Mike DeMenno



additional information:

Ping Ho - Headshot - 2016 - Low ResPing Ho, MA, MPH is the Founding Director of UCLArts and Healing, which transforms lives through creative expression for self-discovery, connection, and empowerment. UCLArts and Healing is an organizational member of the UCLA Collaborative Centers for Integrative Medicine, of which Ping is a Steering Committee Member and was the founding administrator. She was also the founding administrator for the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), which led to the privilege of writing for Norman Cousins and co-writing the professional autobiography of George F. Solomon, M.D., founder of the field of PNI. In addition, Ping has an extensive background as a health educator and performing artist. She has a BA in psychology with honors from Stanford University, an MA in counseling psychology with specialization in exercise physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MPH in Community Health Sciences from UCLA School of Public Health. Ping is on the Council of Advisors for the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, a national network of educational organizations and agencies in complementary and alternative medicine, and the Association Leadership Council for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine. She has been a member of a subcommittee for professional learning for CREATE CA, a California Arts Council-initiated collaborative to educate administrators in education regarding the value of the arts for learning and behavior, what constitutes quality arts education, and models for successful implementation and outcomes. She is a co-developer of the program, Beat the Odds: Social and Emotional Skill Building Delivered in a Framework of Drumming, and was the principal investigator of its effectiveness study that was published in the journal, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In addition, Ping developed the UCLArts and Healing Social Emotional Arts Certificate Program to empower anyone in the design, delivery, and evaluation of effective arts-based programs that maximize social and emotional benefits.

Giselle Friedman, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker who is bicultural and bilingual in Spanish and in English. Giselle received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and her master’s degree from USC School of Social Work. As a psychotherapist, she has worked in school settings, agencies, hospitals and private practice, with a focus on children and families. Giselle spent four years as a treating and on-call therapist for Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center’s Rape Treatment Center, Stuart House, and SM-UCLA Psychotherapy Group. She has been working as a full-time psychiatric social worker for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) since 2000. In this capacity, Giselle provides individual and group therapy to students and their families at several elementary schools. She also leads parenting classes and educates teachers and staff on topics such as children’s responses to trauma, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, childhood depression and anxiety, classroom behavior management, and addressing bullying behavior. Giselle is a member of the school Student Success Teams and she participates in her local district's LAUSD Resource Coordinating Council and neighborhood community meetings.

Mike DeMenno came across a magazine article in 1993 featuring Mickey Hart and Arthur Hull where the mission Mike DeMennowas to use drumming for community building and personal well being. Within a year, Mike began facilitating drum circles for kids at risk throughout Los Angeles.  In 2003, Mike became the Manager of the first recreational music center. Under the mentorship of Remo Belli, the REMO Recreational Music Center in North Hollywood, CA, has developed into an extraordinary place dedicated to bringing rhythm and music to people from all walks of life.  Mike has also not only found himself working closely with Mickey Hart on several projects over the years, but also has been under the mentorship of Arthur Hull for the past ten years.  Mike considers drumming to be his life raft.  He maintains his passion for the drum set as well as helping others to experience playing music for personal joy.

Continuing Education credits for MFTs and RNs can be requested during the registration process for an additional $30. This course meets the qualifications for 5.5 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs, as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.


learning objectives for ces:

1. Participants will learn at least three rhythmically-oriented activities for building positive social and emotional behavior.

2. Participants will learn at least three ways to use reflection and self-disclosure to build positive social and emotional behavior.

3. Participants will learn about the scientific evidence that supports this program.

4. Participants will learn guidelines for management of activities, behavior, and logistics.

5. Participants will be able to state at least two ways in which rhythm, reflection, and self-disclosure would be useful in a nursing practice.

6.  Participants will be able to state two ways in which this information can be useful in the practice of nursing.

For directions, click here.

Free and accessible parking is available at the venue. Entrance is on 80th and 81st streets.

Please submit questions via email to or telephone us at (310) 452-1439.

Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Please email to make arrangements.

Limited opportunities for a scholarship may also be available for those under financial hardship. Inquiries should be sent, with a telephone number and good time(s) to call, via email to

  • Prior to the training, please view the 10" clip from a documentary film of our work with Beat the Odds. Click here to view the trailer.

  • Drums will be provided.

  • Please remember to bring lunch, snacks, and beverages as there are no food sources immediately adjacent to the building.

  • Curriculum materials will be available for purchase at the training.