Beyond the Bars focuses on providing positive and safe spaces where youth who have been impacted by the incarceration system can express themselves. Throughout all of our programming we focus on helping our students realize their talent and grow their self efficacy. Additionally we offer a curriculum that is rooted in history, songwriting, and emotional discussion. Beyond the Bars currently operates within PICC and in West Philadelphia at the CEC. 

Beyond the Bars instructors are all well versed on how to teach students how to play percussion, vocals, guitar, bass, recording and piano. They help students find the instrument(s) or musical path that they are most passionate about and provide the instruction necessary for them to master it. Our programs focus on working with youth to either play music together in a performance setting or record their own original music. 

Currently Beyond the Bars offers the following programs:

Internal Program: The Internal program operates at PICC and teaches youth who are currently awaiting trial.

Instrumental Program: Students in PICC’s Instrumental program are offered weekly lessons and practices with the instrument of their choosing. They are  partnered with talented musical educators and learn to perform in bands by both learning songs and writing their own originals. These sessions have a lot of jamming where our students get to showcase their creativity.

Recording Workshop: Students in PICC’s Recording Workshop are partnered with talented Philadelphia MC’s and audio engineers as they learn to write and record their own original music. Whether it is beat making, mic placement, equalization or how to write about your past experiences, our Recording Workshop works to support our students’ creative process.

External Program: The External program operates at CEC and teaches youth who have been impacted by the incarceration system.

Houseband: Beyond the Bars’ Houseband is a musical program dedicated to teaching youth who are incarcerated but have been impacted by the incarceration system. In Houseband students form their own bands, learn theory, write music together and perform throughout the city. Students in Beyond the Bars’ Houseband in the past  have recorded at WXPN’s studios and performed shows at venues such as World Cafe Live.

Recording Workshop: Beyond the Bars External Recording Workshop focuses on providing recording and writing opportunities to youth who have been impacted by incarceration. Whether it is live sound, beat making, or songwriting our students work in professional studios to learn about how to use audio engineering to express their feelings.

Musical Workshops: Beyond the Bars offers musical workshops to youth who have been adjudicated or have incarcerated loved ones. The workshops offer open creative spaces where students can explore songwriting, and a variety of instruments with talented instructors.