Welcome to Beat 4 Beat, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Beat 4 Beat is currently providing music education for Austin area school districts and private schools.
Beat 4 Beat develops confidence and community in underserved youth in Central Texas through after school music education. Taught by local musicians, our curriculum is inspired by students’ interests, providing opportunities for expression and empowerment.
Is to provide music educational opportunities to all at-risk students that desire more learning opportunities, to provide supplemental income for local music professionals pursuing their careers.
Founder and Executive Director – Mark Turk
Born and raised in Alice TX, Mark Turk had spent his early years studying and performing music. Mark left Alice in 1995 to attend Texas State University in San Marcos TX. He studied business at the University, however he could not escape the allure of music. He began performing with local bands. Upon graduating, Mark moved to Austin Texas to be in the middle of the live music capital of the world.
For the next 10 years, Mark performed, recorded, and toured with local musicians. In 2007 Mark enrolled at MediaTech where he was certified in audio engineering and began music engineering. Since then, Mark has been teaching music classes for public and private schools, as well as private music lessons on bass, guitar, piano, and voice.
Beat 4 Beat IS BORN!
After working with at-risk students in AISD, and discovering the needs of music education in public schools, Mark saw how beneficial music was to these children. The students gained new friendships, attended classes more regularly and showed more interests in academics.
Beat 4 Beat was started by Mark in 2014, formerly known as “Beyond the Grade”, to support the needs of his at-risk students in the Austin area. As the organization grew, Mark hired his musician friends, giving them supplemental income while chasing there musical aspirations.
Board Chair, Colleen Bell – Colleen has over 15 years of experience leading nonprofits and businesses focused on music, entertainment, education, and sports. Colleen brings a history of creating systems and developing excellence for the School of Rock’s international afterschool music program, and building foundations, fundraising, and networking for the nonprofit Women’s Flat Track Derby Association franchise, to the Beat for Beat Board of Directors. Colleen received a BA with Distinction from UW-Madison, and completed post-graduate work with Harvard Business School.
Board Member, Deirdre Ragan – Deirdre is the Founder and President of DKR Business Consulting, LLC in Austin, TX, and has over 30 years of experience in the life and health insurance industries with executive leadership in product, technology, program management, operations, and mergers/acquisitions. She has a drive to bring people and organizations as close to realizing their mission as possible. Deirdre grew up in Dallas, TX in a large family who all enjoyed various musical instruments and collaborations. After graduating from the University of Texas in Austin and entering her professional life, music has continued to be central in her many passions, whether in family music gathering, taking in live music, personal songwriting, or singing in local choirs.
Deirdre feels that live music is an integral facet to the character of Austin, as much as introducing children to music is key to opening a door lifelong joy. Deirdre and her husband reside in Austin, Texas and on top of music, enjoy the pursuits such as kayaking, traveling, cooking, tennis, and spending time with their 3 dogs. She also enjoys cheering on her one and only kid who lives in Boston studying and performing music.
Board Member, Nicole Cimo – Nicole is a teacher at Spicewood Elementary in Austin, Texas. In her current role as the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Specialist, Nicole often leads presentations and coordinates large-scale events for parents, students, and staff. She serves on the TAG leadership committee as well as the district’s Gifted/Talented advisory board. Nicole began working with Beat4Beat during the organization’s rebrand to provide marketing and graphic design support. She is proud to be serving on the board of a nonprofit that has such a powerful mission: giving kids a voice and musicians a purpose. Nicole is a strong advocate of the arts in education and sees how music directly promotes creativity, confidence, and a greater sense of well-being. She is always looking for ways to help expand Beat4Beat’s impact both personally and professionally.
Advisory Board members
Russell Williamson – Russell has been heavily involved in music, technology, and entrepreneurship since a very young age. His life was heavily influenced by playing and listening to music, including teaching peers while in grade-school. Companies he has launched include Thomas & Darden consumer audio products and other technology firms, carrying with him decades of experience. Since then Russell has been passionate about philanthropy by mentoring students, industry professionals, and colleagues while serving as advisor on several company boards. Music is such an emotional experience that connects all of us across the world – and providing children that opportunity is instrumental in growing that lasting experience for generations to follow.
Isaac Peña – Program Manager/Instructor
For the past 25 years, Isaac Peña has been composer, arranger, director and/or instrumentalist in many musical groups and presentations ranging in ensemble size from 2 to 35, and representing a wide variety of genres including Latin, Classical, Jazz, Rock, Indie and R&B/Soul. He has recorded and produced several Austin musical artists, and also recently worked with another producer to help provide material for the music library of cable sports channel ESPN. Isaac Peña has been teaching for the past 10 years, and recently joined the Beyond the Grade team and program manager and instructor.
Troy Millward – Instructor/Trainer Troy is from Dallas, Texas and has been playing music since he was 14. He plays multiple instruments including guitar, bass, and drums, and washboard. Troy loves teaching music. He has been working with children for many years, with experience as a volunteer mentor. Troy is renowned for being able to motivate, coach, and reengage students in their education.
Layla Murray-Schroeder – Instructor/Program Quality specialist
Layla has had the privilege of being with this organization for 5 years. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with a concentration in all-level instrumental, she has been able to transfer what she learned to her classes. Layla is a singer/songwriter, professional flautist, and performs in musical theatre productions. She loves being able to bring the joy of music to others!
Alberto Chapa – Ableton ConsultantAlberto Chapa is a musician, producer, audio consultant and Ableton Certified Trainer with a passion for helping artists and organizations turn their ideas into reality. Alberto is a natural teacher with a relaxed and upbeat approach to sharing his experience using Ableton Live, Push and Max to create in the studio and perform on stage. Check him out here: https://www.musicalguest.net/
Keli Marks – Beats and Podcast consultant
K.Lee Marks is a multi-instrumentalist, touring professional, electronic music teacher, and music producer who has been working with artists of diverse genres and styles for nearly a decade. He started Septima Studios, a cooperative record label in Mexico, training under several audio engineers, and music producers, before moving to Austin, TX. He is theproduct manager for Gravitas Create, produces tutorials for the youtube channel, tours with his band Bassline Drift. He’s released music on Gravitas Recordings, Heroic Recordings, and Outtalectuals. He enjoys traveling the world, collecting sounds and samples, and re-interpreting those into his own creations. Listen to his music here: https://soundcloud.com/basslinedrift
Travis Turk – Guitar/Rock Band/Preschool Music instructorHis enthusiasm for music mixed with his inner child makes for a very high energy, educational atmosphere. Playing off of the children’s interest, he makes sure to create an experience that children will not only enjoy, but be genuinely interested in.
Chris Turvill – guitar instructor
Chris grew up taking lessons on bass, guitar and piano in Houston. While his piano lessons were more formal, his guitar and bass lessons with Dave Carey were an improvisational expedition in rock and jazz classics, leading into high school jazz band and a trip to Jamey Aebersold’s summer workshop. During his college years in Austin, he gained live experience playing around town, while also writing and recording his own experimental rock compositions. After college, he began to teach private/group guitar lessons and rock band classes through Boys and Girls Club and Instrumental Music for Children in California. His musical excursions led to gigs at a variety of venues from wineries to art collectives in Napa to a week-long course with Robert Fripp’s Guitar Circle to learn how physical disciplines like Tai Chi and Alexander Technique benefit performance.
Jake Allard- Songwriting/Guitar
Jake Curtis Allard is a Songwriter, Guitarist, Bassist, and Vocalist originating from southern California. He is both a recording and touring artist for a wide variety of rock and heavy metal artists. From coast to coast, Jake is a part of bands such as Christian Shields, Bomber Alley (featuring members of the Dee Snider band), Kimes, and, most recently, his solo projects. Teaching and working with children, and all aspiring musicians, remains an important and rewarding part of his music career.