Tolerance, conflict resolution, diversity…How can kids best grasp these concepts?

Through music, dance and stories, Mamma Tongue’s interactive workshops bring a message of respect for diversity. Their workshops give students the opportunity to witness cooperation, to engage in self expression, and to respect each other’s individuality. The whole school is included in creating a level of enthusiasm that lasts well after Mamma Tongue has left the stage.

SHORT PROGRAM – an interactive performance

Mamma Tongue offers an exciting 45 minute program that brings these issues to the forefront. Through music, dance and theater, Mamma Tongue’s three drummers and dancer takes students on a fantastic journey through West Africa and then weaves a thread to the student’s present day lives.

Before long, the students and teachers are participating in singing, dancing, and chanting songs that acknowledge tolerance and respect for everyone. The short form of “Mamma Tongue Speaks” has been a popular and successful format from our workshop series.

LONG PROGRAM – Mamma Tongue Speaks: conflict resolution

Mamma Tongue’s exhilarating and electrifying musical performance gets the students going and lets them know Mamma Tongue speaks their language. Following the performance of rhythm and dance, Mamma Tongue presents a serious seminar to challenge students in developing conflict resolution skills.

The kids see musicians of many ethnicities working together. The musicians are also trained seminar professionals and offer this training at the most opportune moment–when kids are ready, open and wanting to be like the people who tell them the truth about alternatives to violence, and about tolerance and self esteem. The key is respect, and music turns the key for kids. This is a full 90 minute presentation, culminating in a wow performance by Mamma Tongue. Kids learn, and don’t forget!


Mamma Tongue also offers a drumming, dance, and lecture workshop for the classroom. This format may be especially appealing to schools that would like their students to have more personal contact with the performers. In this setting, students are encouraged to express themselves and feel a sense of accomplishment through their participation in the drumming and dance.


John McDowell is also available to lead rhythm workshops for students, teachers and individuals of all ages. His workshops have been presented at schools and universities through out North America and Europe.