Beats Behind The Wall

“Music is a language that can speak to the soul. It can inspire, motivate,

and heal. Mentorship can provide guidance, support, and hope.

Together, music and mentorship can change lives.”

The David’s Harp Foundation’s Beats Behind the Wall program offers a beacon of hope and creativity for youth navigating incarceration within the East Mesa and Kearny Mesa Juvenile Detention Facilities. This initiative brings the transformative power of music production directly into these environments, using our innovative Mobile Studio Backpacks.

Our Artist Mentors, equipped with state-of-the-art production methods, work closely with the youth, fostering authentic relationships and providing guidance and support. In this creative atmosphere, the technical aspects of music production become an empowering tool, a language for self-expression. Our youth are introduced to this world, discovering the intricate skills that bring the music they love to life. At the same time, they are given the opportunity to step into the role of audio engineers for their peers.

This not only provides practical, hands-on experience, but also nurtures empathy, teamwork, and responsibility, as they become integral contributors to the creation of their peers’ musical narratives.

The Beats Behind the Wall program doesn’t stop at the doors of the detention facilities. It forms a crucial part of a broader continuum of programming that includes our Beats Beyond the Wall and Biz Pod initiatives. Once released, our program participants are welcomed into these platforms, where they can continue their creative journey, access the creative economy, and find trusted mentors to help them navigate probation.

The Beats Behind the Wall program is more than a music production course; it’s a lifeline, a stepping-stone, and an affirmation of each participant’s potential and worth. We believe in the power of music to transform lives, and we see it happening every day through the Beats Behind the Wall program.

Beats Behind The Wall: Frank’s Journey

As an audio engineer, Frank was responsible for recording, mixing, and mastering the group’s original hip-hop song. While Frank honed his technical skills, our Artist Mentors were building trust with him through our restorative “check-in” process every session. This is a process in which our staff creates a supportive, honest space where they share openly about the highs, lows, and hopes of their own lives and encourage youth to do the same.

More Programs

Student Studio


Beats Beyond The Wall

Distance Learning Hub