SpecDrum: World Culture Education

$19,406 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 182 people in 24 months

This educational campaign offers an education based solution to the turmoil and separation impacting our society. If people are traversing our educational system and coming out on the other side racist, sexist, xenophobic, classist, or homophobic, then they aren’t getting enough information about the world in which they live. Something needs to change. I believe an authentic and lasting difference can be made through long term world music and culture study. Honest and true life education. Goal oriented commitment.

I offer my community outreach and education initiative: SpecDrum.

We need to reach young people from all demographics, classes, and backgrounds, and provide them with culture rich opportunities that enhance their education and character development. We need to immerse them in an environment that is dependent on everyone equally - dependent upon one another. Benefits of SpecDrum include:

Life skills: Students who participate learn invaluable lessons in teamwork, leadership, and communication.
Acceptance: Students are immersed in a positive, driven atmosphere with other students whom they wouldn’t normally be connected to or see as a peer.
Self expression: Students learn to express their creativity comfortably at a young age, which is crucial to accepting the creative expression of others.
Team building: No one can succeed alone; students learn the importance of function as the part of a larger team to achieve goals together.

People who have studied world music and culture are some of the most accepting, talented, and understanding people I know.
For two decades, I've seen how all-inclusive drumming events can break the barriers of race and wealth, and bring people joy! My only regret is that these events are few and far between, and not a continuous part of young people’s lives on a regular basis.

SpecDrum offers free cultural education through drumming as an enrichment to the current pedagogical curriculum. A continual study of world culture through music, year round, not just a once a year presentation in the school gymnasium.

-SpecDrum is a free service to the community. 

-Students from any school district in the St. Louis Metropolitan area will be eligible to apply. (Student applications will be available once funding is secured)

-Initially for grades 8-12. (future expansion to include younger students)

-SpecDrum is an ongoing venture, ideally becoming a part of the community's cultural landscape.

-Transportation to and from rehearsals/performances to be provided as needed (as funding is available). Rehearsals weekly on Sundays in the afternoons.

-Each student (20-30 initially) will receive an instrument to take home for practice between rehearsals.

-Instruments of the highest quality, hand made in Guinea, West Africa by drum makers who are compensated accordingly; not factory produced instruments.

-Performances will be given at all represented school districts as well as public presentations.

Fortunately, SpecDrum has a home! The Kranzberg Arts Foundation is supporting this endeavor by offering a space for practice and performance in the new .ZACH Performing Arts Incubator and the Kranzberg Arts Center, both of which are in the Grand Center  District of St. Louis. That leaves the purchasing of instruments as the second major requirement.

The majority of the funds from this campaign will go towards the purchasing of fifty to sixty instruments (an average cost of $500 each). Also covered in this campaign are protective cases for the instruments, transportation costs, costuming, marketing, guest clinicians from around the world, and operational costs for 1-2 years minimum.

I am happy to offer you something in return for your donation. Below is a basic guideline for contribution. Don't feel that you have to stick to this. This is simply a starting point to give you an idea of what is possible.

$1-50 Thank you!!!!

$50-100 Private lesson with me w/ Skype Option

$100-300 Group lesson, Drumming Workshop

$300-500 Guest artist/clinician/speaker, Drum circle

$500 and up Corporate team building, Series of above events, a SpecDrum Performance just for you!!

Please share this campaign far and wide with lovers of music, community organizers, corporate executives, creative thinkers, youth leaders, educators, music store owners, neighborhood associations, community centers, festival organizers, parents, philanthropists, ANYONE and EVERYONE! We can make it happen!

For more information, questions, and brainstorming, contact me at:



Thank you!

Matthew Henry, SpecDrum Founder
Professor of Music
Professional Musician

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Hello, everyone!! Just wanted to share this segment that will be in the next episode of "State of the Arts" on HEC-TV later this month. Thank you for your support and please spread the word that the campaign is still going.
Much Love!
SpecDrum on State of the Arts
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Just finished our third week together! The students are doing a great job and diggin' in!! Thank you, everyone!
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Visited New York recently and sat down with Michael Markus, owner of WULA Drum company, to hear some more about the company and where these beautiful instruments came from.
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A message for you!
The students with the drums you provided. More will get theirs next session! (Some couldn't attend the first session due to prior commitments)
Thank you!
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Read a Previous Update
Russell Jackson
23 months ago

It's great to hear that the first shipment of drums has arrived. They look phenomenal! Here's hoping that more folks will donate so that you can reach many more young people.

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$19,406 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 182 people in 24 months
Created July 31, 2016
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Strike Institute
3 months ago

To one of the worthiest of causes!

3 months ago
Tony Barbata
4 months ago

I was supposed to do this a while ago, totally spaced it.

Susan Todd
6 months ago

Watched your video presentation at Jefferson College. I'm impressed by your mission and your program.

Jessica Hentoff
6 months ago

Drum circle or circus ring--- it doesn't matter where you are from, your race, your religion, your school or what your parents do--- it matters what YOU bring to the circle! Thank you, Matt Henry, for giving more young people the opportunity to step into the circle!

Russell Jackson
23 months ago

It's great to hear that the first shipment of drums has arrived. They look phenomenal! Here's hoping that more folks will donate so that you can reach many more young people.

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