Music-Motor Therapy Program Improving the Lives of Toddlers with NF1

The Washington University NF Center and Jazz St. Louis recently wrapped up another successful Beat NF session. This unique music-motor therapy program geared toward toddlers with NF1 utilizes jazz music and motor therapy to help them overcome developmental delays commonly encountered by children with NF1

YOU’RE INVITED: Spring 2016 Beat NF

Join us for a one-of-a-kind jazz music experience, seamlessly integrated with gross motor and social skill activities. Beat NF, a jazz music-motor therapy program for toddlers and young children (ages 2 – 5 years) with NF1, was developed by a team of St. Louis Children’s Hospital therapists and Jazz St. Louis musicians.

Beat NF Program Highlighted in JazzTimes

Beat NF, our jazz music-motor therapy program designed specifically for toddlers with NF1, was recently highlighted in JazzTimes. Read the article to learn more about this unique program, stemming from a close collaboration between the Washington University NF Center, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Jazz St. Louis.


Join us on Saturday, February 27, from 9:30 a.m. – noon, as Club NF heads into the kitchen at Schnucks Cooks Cooking School in Des Peres, MO! Children will work on a variety of fine motor and social skills in the kitchen while Courtney Metzinger, OTD, MFA, OTR/L will give a one hour talk about executive function to parents.

Patient Spotlight: Garrett’s NF1

Garrett Dohlke was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) when he was just 5 years old. Garrett’s family had never heard of NF1 and was devastated. Read about Garrett’s journey with NF1 and how he overcame many of the challenges associated with the condition.

Wrapping Up Another Successful Beat NF Session!

The fall Beat NF session wrapped up this past Wednesday with our toddler participants, both new and seasoned veterans to the program, enjoying five weeks of play-based motor-music therapy in the Centene Education Center classroom on the top floor of the Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz. A typical Beat NF class begins with […]


The Washington University NF Center, in collaboration with the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation, is pleased to announce our upcoming April 2015 Club NF event – Club NF Acts! Please join us at Parkway South High School in Manchester, MO on Saturday, April 4 from 9:30 a.m. – noon for an exciting morning of musical theatre. During this […]

YOU’RE INVITED: Club NF Goes Surfing!

The Washington University NF Center in collaboration with the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce our first 2015 Club NF event – Club NF Goes Surfing! Please join us at Core 3 Fitness Studio in Brentwood, MO on Saturday, February 7 from 10 a.m. – noon for an exciting morning of indoor surfing and yoga. During this event, […]

Fall 2014 Beat NF Program Another Success!

We had our last session of the fall 2014 Beat NF program yesterday, and I already know I will miss my five little friends next Wednesday morning. Beat NF, a jazz, music therapy program for toddlers with NF Type 1, concluded this morning after six successful weeks. Through the collaborative efforts of Jazz St. Louis, the Washington University […]

Back to School: Communicating with Your School

The 2014 – 2015 school year is upon us! NF1 is the most common disorder you’ve probably never heard of–that is what we tell people the first time they learn about NF1. Because NF1 is not a commonly known disorder, it is likely that the teachers and school administrators at your school also have not […]

Back to School: Peer Relationships

The 2014 – 2015 school year is upon us! Friendships are an integral part of life and incredibly important to the school experience; however, children with NF1 sometimes struggle with making friends. Having even just one good friend can have a significantly positive effect on academic success. Below are some suggestions for ways to help […]

Back to School: Getting Organized

The 2014 – 2015 school year is fast approaching! Children with NF1 often experience difficulties in the academic environment due to attention deficits, learning disabilities and social delays. It can be frustrating for both students and families if they feel there are significant roadblocks to success in school. Fortunately, there are many ways you can […]

Empowering Parents to Detect Potential Delays in their Children with NF1

  Children with NF1 commonly experience a range of developmental delays that can negatively impact their daily lives. Early detection and treatment of these delays provides children with NF1 their best chances of success. In order to help families detect potential delays as early as possible, we have created child development checklists of expected developmental […]

HOLIDAY SPECIAL: Therapy Activities for the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July from the Washington University NF Center! Summer is here and it is time to celebrate! Get outside and enjoy Independence Day weekend as a family. While you’re at it, consider trying out these 4th of July themed therapy activities. Occupational Therapy – Fine Motor Skill Development “Fireworks” in a Jar This […]

Beat NF: Understanding How Music Therapy Helps Children with NF1

Welcome to a special guest post from Beat NF Music Therapist, Dr. Cynthia Briggs! Cynthia Briggs, PhD, is a licensed Music Therapist and faculty member at Maryville University. She has collaborated with the Washington University NF Center and Jazz St. Louis to create Beat NF–a jazz music therapy program for toddlers with NF1. Music Therapy […]

Beat NF – Together!

During the 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 […]

Club NF Zoo Adventure!

On June 7, 2014, the Washington University NF Center in collaboration with the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation hosted our June 2014 Club NF Event! The program focused on sensory integration, gross motor skills and social skills. Club NF met at the Saint Louis Zoo. The morning began with families meeting a professional zookeeper to learn […]

Courtney’s Corner: Age Appropriate Chores for Children

As summer approaches, parents may feel like their time is stretched to the limit between work, having the children home from school and going to and from daily summer activities. With everything going on, it is easy to give your child access to an iPad or the TV as a source of entertainment while you […]

SAVE THE DATE: Spring 2014 Session of Beat NF

The Washington University NF Center, in collaboration with Jazz St. Louis and the Maryville University Music Therapy Department, is excited to announce its Spring 2014 Session of Beat NF–Beat NF Together. Please join us at the St. Louis Gym Center in Webster Groves, MO every Friday morning from May 23, 2014 through June 27, 2014 […]

SAVE THE DATE: NeuroDay 2014 at the St. Louis Science Center

Join the Washington University NF Center at NeuroDay 2014 at the St. Louis Science Center! Team NF is heading to NeuroDay 2014 at the St. Louis Science Center on March 8 from 10AM to 4PM. NeuroDay is an annual expo featuring free hands-on activities focused on learning about the brain and cutting-edge brain research. Featured […]