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Beat NF – Together!

During tphoto 1-8he months of May and June, the Washington University NF Center, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation, Jazz St. Louis and Maryville University Music Therapy Department are partnering together for their second six week session of Beat NF, Beat NF–Together!
Like the previous session, Beat NF–Together features songs written by our music therapist that are designed to develop skills commonly delayed in toddlers with NF1 including gross motor skills, attention skills and social skills. Each week highlights a different motor activity and walks parents and children alike through the steps necessary to become proficient in the motor skill. Families and therapists have been excited to see rapid growth in each child from week one to week three. Some children who could not jump with two feet together on week one are now hopping around the room.
As before, a definite favorite for the children is playing the Orff Instruments, an instrument similar to the xylophone. During this session we are working with the children on bilateral coordination by teaching them to either strike the instrument with both mallets simultaneously or to alternate their strikes in rhythm with the music. This also encourages the children to focus and attend to the leader of the group in order to hear and follow directions.
Another major goal for this session is to encourage parent-child interactions. By getting parents involved in the motor activities and music playing we hope to foster social skills as well as give parents the tools they need to practice these skills at home on a regular basis.
The Washington University NF Center is very excited for the final three weeks of Beat NF. If you are interested in attending, please contact Kirsten Brouillet at

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For more pictures, please visit the Washington University NF Center Facebook Page.