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Beyond The 4 Walls



May these words encourage your life...

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Posted on April 2, 2014 at 9:45 AM Comments comments ()

How are you doing today?  How are you doing emotionally?  How are you doing physically?  How are you doing financially?  How are you?  Honestly, I wish that I could hear your responses to these questions.  I wish that I could change some of those things that are not so pleasant in your life, but I can't.  All that I can do is be a Man of Consistecy.  All I can do is be a leader worth following.  All I can do is follow the teaching of my Holy Bible.  All I can do is be the man that I'm called to be, teach your from my experiences and skills, and in that, my hopes are that you will look past those temporal things in your life and pursue excellence and be encouraged by knowing that Christ loves you. 

Life is short!  Life is extremely short!  It seems like only a moment  ago that I was on Active Duty for the US Navy.  It seems like only a moment ago that I was in college.  It seems like only a moment ago that I was living at home under my parents roof.  Friends, we have to learn to appreciate the time we have because no one knows when they will take their last breath. 

I was sadden to hear of the confirmed death of a young man from my community this morning.  We never know when death will come, but we can AND must know that our actions influence certain lifestyles.  I was glad that I had the chance to speak into this young mans life sometime ago.  I can't say how much impact it had on his life, but I do know that it was necessary for me to do so.  We all are beautiful and talented and gifted and important and LOVED BY GOD! 

This is my reason for living!  It is to serve my God, teach my family, and encourage others in the Lord!


~ Courtney

"Teach us to number our days, so that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."

Psalm 90:12

Every leader is not worth following...

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 11:30 PM Comments comments ()

Greetings to you all!

I pray that you are experiencing!  Experiencing what I'm sure you asked yourself.  I pray that you are experiencing everything that is before you!  To me, having an experience is being engaged in what's going on.  Having an experience is not tuning it out, putting it off, or trying to escape, whatever "it" is.  Here in Chicago, we experienced snowfall that reached historic levels.  Because of the amount of snow and the frequency of snow falls that we had makes this fall season uncommon. 

Putting aside your enjoyment of the weather or complete disdain for this type of weather, I hope that you took time to "experience" the season.  I hope you took time to express some level of gratitude for being around to feel, smell, see, and touch the snow.  We must remember that there is always someone who wishes that they could be in your shoes, even on your worse day. 

This is how our leaders must be as well.  Leaders often bring good information, sometimes not so good information, and other time, information that makes us feel indifferent.  The leader that is not worth following is the leader that has no regard for anyone but themselves.  In this age of social media, gender confusion, and watered down "believers", we need leaders who can identify with where you are, encourage you, provide you with tools to moving forward, show you how use them, and give you space to apply them.  In our day and age, we need authentic leaders.

I consider myself to be a leader.  My hearts desire is to help others move closer to where they were created to be.  I found myself in this very position today.  After giving a bible study on experiencing life and keeping your mind stayed on Christ in all challenges of life, I was tested with that very thing.  I had to chose whether to focus on the ugly face of racism and tolerance or the beauty of Christ! 

Let me tell you that racism and tolerance can be exteremly irritating and frustrating, but not insurmountable.  I happy to share that I was able to experience the moment for what is was - an opportunity to walk by the spirit and not the flesh.  It was an opportunity that reminded me that we all need Christ in our lives. 

My flesh is hungry.  It has an insatiable appetite, but I want you to know that there is a way to escape - IF you don't allow the situation to overtake you.  1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  It does my soul well to know that I have victory in Christ. 

I pray that you have a leader in your life worth following.  I pray that you have someone to encourage you and to help you be all that Christ called you to be!



Posted on March 11, 2014 at 2:55 PM Comments comments ()

It is differently good to be around for a new day!  We are expecting great things from our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!  As you look around our site, I want to encourage you to ask questions about anything that you want more information on.  As I stated, we are transitioning from operating as the Harris Music School to Beyond The 4 Walls.  I felt that this was a necessary move because Beyond The 4 Walls encompasses EVERYTHING we are offering as the Harris Music School and so much more. 

In addition to asking questions, feel free to utilize our contact information as a way to book us for services.  We are not bound to a certain type of institution or organization.  Our goal is to be effective to all that we come in contact with.  Our music instruction is back by over 20 years of education and experience and our workshops are backed by over 30 years of education and experience. 

We are confident in our mission that we will be able to assist you in moving closer to the place that you desire to be!

Please bookmark our website, make it a favorite, or make it your homepage.  We promise to be a CONSISTENT source of encouragement and motivation in your lives.


~ Dr Harris


Posted on March 10, 2014 at 2:15 PM Comments comments ()


Firstly, I want to thank God for the opportunity to serve! Secondly, I want to welcome you to our website.  Many of you may be familar with the Harris Music School.  At this time, we are currently transitioning our business name from the Harris Music School to Beyond The 4 Walls.  This is a necessary transition because our services not only include music, but family and relationship development. 

We transitioned to Beyond The 4 Walls for this very reason, we understand that everyone that needs help may not be able to come to us.  Because of this fact, we want to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to receive the training and encouragement that they desire. 

We hope to continue to receive your support as we serve various communities and organizations. 

Thank You,

Courtney Alexander Harris, Founder


Posted on Comments comments ()



The word snitch is a word that is associated with very strong feelings. The associated feelings around this term can and has led to death - at least that is a reality in poor black communities. I would love to learn if the term snitch has such negativity associated with it in other communities. The term snitch is defined as one who is an informer or a thief. This actually is quite humorous considering the context in which is it used. Even without knowing the “definition” of the word you can tell what people mean when they use it. It is usually delivered with some level of disapproval and sarcasm. I did not know that there was a second meaning to this word. Discovering that snitch is also defined as a “thief” is actually right on point with what I see in the black community.


People are called snitches because they report on an injustice that they previously witnessed or experienced personally. This injustice can be in the form of drug dealing, rape, theft, or even murder. Without knowing it, they are actually utilizing the term in both contexts correctly. Those who hate “snitches” label an individual, or group of individuals, who inform others of wrongdoing and they are stealing from their own community by prohibiting those “snitches” to identify the injustice, or evil, they witnessed. There is this warped sense of perceived honor in not exposing laws that have been broken. It’s funny how the “black” community (generally speaking) wants to call on the government to provide them with food, finances, and shelter, but they refuse to call upon the government to handle issues where the laws are broken.


Please hear my heart here! I understand that there is a trust issue between the “system”, which includes the police, but what long term benefit is there to keeping silent about something illegal? We are living in real time, not a fantasyland void of consequences to our actions. Taking the law into your own hands is a choice you could make, but how many times will you be able to do that before that is no longer and option?


As a community of black people, we must do better! If you want to rise above the pressure of society and the “system”, you must seek to educate yourself! By no means have I arrived, but I have an understanding of the bigger picture and I adjust according to what this society deals me – without compromising my character and integrity. This was a process for me to get accustomed to! I use to complain about the injustices that I experienced first hand. I spent more time contemplating on the injustices than ways to move beyond them. I learned that if I wanted something different, then I had to do something different.


I believe that God created the heavens, the earth, and man! Everything that God created was created with a beneficial purpose in mind – INCLUDING YOU! You do have purpose to your life and part of your purpose is learning to do things in order! Doing what is right does not minimize your character, but adds to it. Doing want is right does not make you weaker, but in fact, it makes you stronger. The more you do the right thing, the easier it becomes! Do not allow the pressures of society to prohibit you from doing the right thing.


~ Dr Harris