CONTRIBUTED BY JONATHAN MANDE
Jonathan Mande ’11 has been inspired by drums since an early age when he listened to his favorite music and wanted to learn how to play along. He created his own drum kit at the age of five using small branches of bamboo that he found in the woods, cinder blocks and cardboard.
Mande wants to teach students of all backgrounds that music can exist in many forms and that it’s important to recognize how people react and feel when they are exposed to melodic rhythms.
“I’m very much interested in expressive art, a medium that uses dense movement and art, a visual side of things, music therapy as well. I really enjoy some visual representation with my students; what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling,” Mande said.
He is currently working on research for a project from which he’s hoping to learn more about unique ways music can positively affect individuals. Mande’s goal is to share his project with people who value music as an art form and as a restorative remedy.
“I have been researching effects of rhythm on social-emotional skill development, brain development using rhythm,” Mande said.
Mande said he values the importance of music and how it is incorporated in everyday life. In a way, he feels that music can’t only heal a person spiritually, but also can connect cultures. In his eyes, music is a universal language that has the potential to join everyone together in a bonding community.
“We’re talking about music as an umbrella term, specifically rhythm and how it heals. It is part of cross-cultural understanding of musicians because rhythm speaks and is one of those things that can bring people together from different cultures who may not speak the same language,” Mande said.
Whether one is a musician or not, Mande feels that high school students should pursue their interests in whatever they feel strongly about and work towards that challenge.
Mande wants people to know that they can always find rhythm, no matter where they are.
“It can help connect and tune with our internal rhythm,” Mande said. “Once we can align our internal rhythm we can understand the rhythm of the world around us.”