People commonly use words such as “find,” “hold,” “keep,” and “drop” to describe actions related to the musical beat. While such language implies that musical beats exist in an empirically observable, externalized way, musical beats exist only in our perception. This is most clearly evident when people of different cultures perceive different musical beats while listening to the same musical stimuli. At an early age, the ability to discriminate rhythms uncommon to one's surrounding culture declines steeply. However, it has also been shown that rhythmic training may slow or even reverse this decline. This paper explores this process from an ethnographic perspective, observing the way in which American schoolchildren engage with the different temporal dynamics and aesthetics they encounter as they participate in a multicultural music program across several inner-city schools in Southern California.