After many years of participating as both a student and presenter at drum clinics, drum circles, workshops and classes, I have had many opportunities to develop my ideas about what works best for students, presenter/facilitators and sponsors. I know that people who come to drum events want to play as well as be informed and inspired. By combining my knowledge of ensemble drum music and group dynamics with clear communication skills, I have created the interactive drum clinic.
In my clinics, I combine lecture, demonstration, and performance with audience participation. I educate the audience in the proper etiquette of when and when not to play and I watch the energy to see when it is time to change modes. This keeps everyone happy and engaged, and people leave wanting to by more instruments for their collections.
Interactive Drum Clinic Description:
I can demonstrate and answer questions about many world percussion instruments. I have fluency on more than 30 percussion instruments including : conga, bongo, timbales, guiro, clave, campana, shekere, maracas, quijada, bombo, surdo, tamborim, ganza, agogo, cuica, pandiero, caixa, afuche, repinique, apito, reco reco, caxixi, berimbau, gankogui, axatse, kidi, kaganu, ngoma, djun djun, djembe, kalimba, dunno, dumbec, bendir, tar, box drum, triangle, chimes, gongs, bell tree, shakers, woodblocks, seedpods, whistles, flexitone, waterphone, rainstick, bells, cymbals.
I am also knowledgeable in the history and traditional use of these instruments and am happy to share my understanding of their background.
A typical presentation I make would start with a conga solo on as many drums as are available, move to shekere and clave, then stop and briefly discuss the clave instrument and rhythm. I would then involve people by clapping and speaking the rhythm. Next I might demonstrate the guiro ( scratcher) and show how the rhythm can be learned with the bare hands and voice. At this point I could split the group into two and have one group clap clave and try and speak the guiro part and have the others play the guiro part and speak the clave rhythm. From here I can go any direction: reverse the two groups; teach a vocal/hand clap version of the cowbell part; invite one or two people to join me; play conga over the group; teach a break or chant; get people up and moving; stop and tell more history, demonstrate the rhythm at fast tempo, or move to another set of instruments.
I favor the interactive approach and I alternate between demonstrating, talking, answering questions and getting the people involved. I continue to move through the instruments and time available and end with group drumming that I conduct in the manner of a drum circle: no attempt is made to play traditional rhythms. People leave being educated, informed and stimulated.
If you have any questions or comments please contact me. Thank You.