[ Drumming is fun! ]Community projects

I work alone or with one or more co-facilitators (dependent on your needs) to give African drum workshops for community projects in West Herts, Beds and Bucks. I also do whole day projects in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, East Herts and West Essex.

[ Circle of drums at Waddesdon Manor: just add children :-) ]Experience gathered over many years includes leading workshops for people with Special Needs at the Rosa Morrison Centre in Barnet and Churchtown Farm Activity Centre in Cornwall. More recently we have worked with MIND and Children's Integrated Playschemes (CHIPS) all over Hertfordshire, and elderly people and their carers at The Parkinsons Disease Society.

I'm usually good at keeping children of all ages engaged, but groups with low self-esteem, behavioural issues and/or learning difficulties will need more support staff to help them keep focused and maintain strict disciplinary control.

Pictured here is the calm before the storm, a drum workshop we taught at Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury. We have also done weddings, birthday parties, worked with artists in the woods, taught Brownies and Girl Guides in resonant churches, as well as Beavers, Cubs and Explorer Scout groups in intense tents, youth groups on the streets and at YMCA festivals, children and adults at village fetes, and Red Cross refugees from Eritrea+Uganda.

It's all good fun!

Cost

These costs may be eligible for discounts, and all include us bringing enough drums for everyone taking part. For more than 25 people, add £1 per extra drum. For African Dancing too with Justine, add 25% to the two facilitator prices and consider longer sessions to give time for both drumming and dancing. The full-day cost works out at better value (from just £2 per person) than a half-day, since for us much of the effort is admin+travel+setup time. Hence the cost for a one-off hour-long workshop is the same as a whole afternoon/morning as it prevents us teaching elsewhere. Mornings are a premium as rush-hour causes delays. Weekends are often possible, and cost the same as weekdays and (Bank) holidays.

Short workshops with just one facilitator for up to 15 adults and/or children:

Workshops with just one facilitator for up to 25 adults+children:

Workshops with two facilitators (recommended) for 25 or more adults+children: (+ £1 per extra drum above 25)

Fetes

For School/Community Fetes, we can do a day of workshops as above, perhaps with an optional performance from one of my bands. Alternatively, I could come and teach the local children (either for that day or weekly classes beforehand) and we then perform some traditional African songs and drumming to their parents. For weekly sessions, please enquire on a case-by-case basis, but see the Schools page for examples.

Rolling workshops

Rolling workshops (where random people just join in and leave at any time) don't work so well for African drums unless players are already experienced, as it's not something you can just pick up and bang as some people often think. There are techniques I need to explain, such as to warn against wearing rings/jewellery or dropping/holding the drums badly. If folk trickle in every few minutes then we have to stop and explain the basics all over again, which kills the flow of the session and annoys those already present.

It works much better to have timed workshops where people learn how to play something properly. I've done this at many events with sessions ranging from 20-50 minutes. All that's needed is a note in the Programme and a sign on the door saying "Workshops start every half-hour - please come back later".