Since 1994, MONDO has provided hand drum and percussion instruction for over 5,000 children in Fort Worth and Tarrant County at its studio in the Fairmount neighborhood. Advanced MONDO students have performed for over 600,000 residents at over 700 events, such as the Main Street Arts Festival, Concerts in the Garden, and in our sister city, Toluca, Mexico. Exciting hands-on drumming classes and workshops are provided each year at schools and libraries for over 2000 students, and our performing group entertains annually at over 35 events. Workshops with the Van Cliburn Foundation and Fort Worth Sister Cities have introduced our students to international percussion groups and have inspired our students to participate in foreign exchange programs. Our inclusion in the textbook series “Spotlight on Music” produced by Sony Corporation and MacMillan-McGraw/Hill introduces the exciting sounds of our group to many students in schools and universities both in the United States and abroad.
Mondo Drummers programming changes the lives of our students. Research shows that drumming improves math and science scores, reduces stress, improves school attendance, and increases team-working skills. We see these improvements regularly in our students as do their parents and teachers. Public performances at venues ranging from large festivals to small neighborhood events greatly improves self-esteem, and inspires our students to learn more about different ethnic, economic, and cultural opportunities. Sadly, local schools and libraries often have little to no funding for arts clinics, and in a community as diverse as ours, the arts serve as an essential bridge across language and cultural differences. Many students have received scholarships to continue their education in the arts as a result of their participation in MONDO Drummers.
In 2009, at the request of Cook Children’s Medical Center, MONDO created the Drumstick Music Project to include semi-monthly drum and percussion sessions for their young patients. The objective of this project is to facilitate a music program that provides the children the opportunity to explore the relationship between music and healing. We see that through drumming the children cope better and heal faster. The MONDO performing group also provides drumming workshops for the staff at Cook Children’s. In addition to the Drumstick Project, MONDO provides free regular drumming sessions for 65 profoundly disabled students at the Fort Worth ISD’s Jo Kelly School, and for 45 students with Down syndrome at the Green Oaks School. Jo Kelly therapists say many students respond to the sound of the drums when nothing else seems to work. For the Down syndrome students of The Green Oaks School drumming helps to develop motor skills, speed, and timing. In 2010 we started free regular classes for 125 children with a variety of learning challenges at the Wedgwood Academy and the Fourth Street School. Our goal at these schools is to help students reduce stress, gain strength, and improve teamwork and conflict resolution skills.
The smiles of our young students and their families are a constant reminder of the success of MONDO programming. Thank you for your interest and for your dedication to our local children.