Mad Beatz Philly trains musicians from Philadelphia neighborhoods to engage and inspire students with drumming experiences that build social skills and self-confidence.

Teacher Mentor: Dwight Carter Dwight, a Philadelphia native, is a graduate of J.R. Masterman Hight School. He went on to get his S.S./S.A. from Drexel University with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. After briefly working in the finance industry, Dwight stumbled into his calling of being an educator. Through teaching at St. Malachi Catholic School and Global Leadership Academy, his love for teaching grew along with his classroom management skills. Although Dwight is no longer in the classroom in a traditional sense, he has been able to help recruit and develop new educators through Mad Beatz Philly and his own organization, 2Cents. His mission is to inspire new teachers and give them the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond

Teacher Mentor: Travien Bryson Born and raised in Philadelphia, Travien graduated from University City High School in 1993 and attended West Chester University, where he joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and competed nationally with their step team; he would go on to earn his degree in education from Cheyney University.  Travien currently serves Carnell School as a site-based teacher leader (SBTL).  For his commitment to high expectations, student success, and family engagement, he won the 2022 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teachers. In addition to changing lives as a math teacher, Travien works for Philadelphia’s legendary Clef Club, coaches the drumline at Carnell School, and performs in Mozaic Flow with his brother, Jermaine Bryson.

Teacher Mentor: Jesse Mell In 2003, Jesse was hired as a full-time drumline specialist for Philadelphia Public Schools.  His experiences building drumline programs in Strawberry Mansion, Germantown, and Kensington High Schools impressed upon him the need to develop a culturally-responsive learning system that could leverage the cultural strengths of Black and Brown learners to accelerate their growth toward careers as professional performers and educators.  Over 20 Black and Latinx teaching artists have found part- and full-time positions from Jesse’s advocacy, support, and partnership with veteran teacher-mentors from the artists’ very own neighborhoods.

TESTIMONIALS from Partner Organizations and Teaching Artists

“The Mann Center has been fortunate to work with tremendously talented teaching artists from our program partnership with Mad Beatz Philly. Dwight Carter is a masterful educator who creates a sense of community within his classroom, while Mad Beatz’ junior teaching artists consistently provide positive energy and carefully coordinated support.
Naomi Gonzalez
Vice President of Community Engagement
The Music Mann Center
“Mad Beatz Philly gave me an opportunity to teach while learning how to teach at the same time. The work is never done; you always have something in the back of your mind about what you can do better. Mad Beatz not only prepared me to be a teacher, they helped widen my spectrum on how music is taught to children. There is no one way to teach music, there are only creative ways…and I was able to explore them with Mad Beatz."
India Fenner
Spring 2022 Cohort
“I started teaching when I formed my own drumline in High School. After DJ’ing throughout the 2010s, I wanted a chance to give back. Mad Beatz Philly made it easy to get right into the classroom and start reaching the kids who need it most.”
Greg Greer, aka Yazir da Deejay
Summer 2021 Cohort

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