On a weekly basis during the summer months, Heart and Soul Drum Academy (HSDA) youth students from the Somalian Rondo Community will gather at Frogtown Farm (FF) to learn and participate in the universal language of music, specifically African drumming, as we revive the tradition of Griot (storytelling), which usually occurs around the simple pleasure of food from the good earth. By combining these two art forms in a community garden-fieldwork environment, our Somalian youth will gain hands-on experience playing music and gardening - cultivating the earth and themselves for a healthy wellbeing. Through HSDA and FF’s collaboration, we will help our youth develop creativity, discipline and leadership while showing them how to perform well with others in Common + Unity = Community, at the garden.
HSDA teaches drumming and mentors students, ages three to 17. While doing so, HSDA also instills discipline and cultivates personal development of life skills such as leadership and management through the use of drum circles, which transfers into classroom, community and the world. Using the model of a 12-week summer drum and gardening program, students who have limited interaction with other diverse populations of our community will have the opportunity to learn the art of drumming and organic gardening. As the community responds to the universal language of music, their natural response is interactive communication. Using the adult mentorship of Babe Jesse (HSDA), the FF staff plus one interested Somali youth, who will learn to mentor HSDA students in the art of gardening through an internship role, the drum students and youth residents will learn life skills for the mind, body and soul as they share in the experiences of drumming classes and gardening activities. These skills include social interaction, leadership growth and development and personal knowledge of nutrition. Leadership skills will be developed by participating as drum circle leaders and fieldwork volunteers.
Funded by Twin Cities, MN (April 2017)