Drum Classes

I conduct in person and online group classes, workshops, private lessons, and drum circles for people of all ages and levels of musical experience.

My presentations are tailored to suit the needs the group and situation. I work with a wide variety of people ranging from low pressure recreational community groups to college students and professionals.

“I’ve studied percussion with various teachers across the country for 10 years, and Kim is truly the finest teacher I’ve found.”  J.K. 1985

Here’s my Weekly Schedule

(tap to see details)

  • On alternate Mondays, I teach World Percussion to High School students at Credo High School (Public Waldorf Charter School) in Rohnert Park CA from 12 noon to 4PM. I’m available in the later afternoon for private lessons in person or  with Zoom.

  • From 12 noon to 4 PM I teach World Percussion at Credo High School in Rohnert Park CA.

    Djembe Class continues from 5 to 7:00 PM, outside in Penngrove CA. In each class we start with warm up grooves and games, we do some improvised music, sometimes we get up and move, then we play one or two of the traditional drum songs. I provide the dun dun bass drums with bells.  Our repertoire includes West African djembe and dun dun rhythms gifted to me by my master teachers Abdoulaye Diakite, Karamba Diabate, Mamady Keita and Babatunde Olatunji.  On occasion I show some of my arrangements of Brazilian and Cuban rhythms.  I can bring a drum for you, please call in advance. Fee is $35 . Please call me to see if this class is right for you, and for last minute details. (707) 889-4949

  • Mid afternoon  private lessons in person or via Zoom, by appointment.I’m teaching evening classes in Sebastopol CA, 6:30 to 8PM.  These are mixed level classes for djembe and dun dun. You can take a set of 4 classes or individual classes. We cover technique, sound, basic grooves, call and response, bells and shakers, body rhythm games, spoken rhythm and more.  I  introduce and break down Fanga, Yankadi, Makru, Djole and other traditional Malinke rhythms. We also play Brazilian Afoxe and Samba Reggae that I have adapted to the dun dun djembe orchestra.  Please contact me for more information.

    4 classes paid in cash at first class $108 , via PayPal  $112
    Single class paid in cash $30 via Pay Pal  $35
    Please contact me for registration/location and more information.
  • From 12 Noon to 4PM I teach World Percussion to High School Students at Credo HighSchool in Rohnert Park CA

    At 6:30  to 8:15 PM, in Sebastopol CA , I teach an intermediate conga hand drum class. Our repertoire consists of  Cuban Makuta, Bembe and Iyesa, Brazilian Congo, Congolese Zebula, Nigerian Ibo and other grooves for the conga drums. I use many different teaching methods to help you understand rhythm in general, and I provide several drums.  Please email me or call (707) 889-4949 if you want to be part of this class. Please see my course outline to the right. Fee is $35  per class.

  • Late after noon private lessons via Zoom, by appointment.

  • Private lessons via Zoom, outdoor group classes, rehearsals, rituals, performances by appointment.

  • Outdoor group classes, by appointment.

Drum programs I can present to you or your group

  • I masterfully facilitate play-by-heart sessions – commonly known as drum circles. I can provide all the instruments and expert guidance to create a fun, memorable and uplifting experience for your corporate event, family gathering, retreat, or party.

    I was a co facilitator with Micky Hart and friends at the Guinness book of World’s Record drum circle in 2004 of 4,374 people at the Earthdance festival in Northern CA USA.
    More pictures here

  • Each session in the eight week cycle will begin with with toning and improvisational singing and end with a group healing.

    At each session I will give a presentation and initiate discussion on topics in the emerging field of sound work, including science, art, spirit and ethics.

    In the second half, you will have guidance in playing instruments from my vast collection, including:

    metal and crystal singing bowls, gongs, chimes, kalimbas, tuning forks, small drums, metal and wood tongue drums, hand pan, ethnic string instruments: tambora, gobichand and berimbau, many kinds flutes, conch shell horns, animal horns, digeridoo, wind wands, udu drums, shakers, scratchers, shruti box, harmonium, electric keyboard, tabla drums, shacapas, damaru.

    Week one: Mystical Sound

    Week two: Our Senses and Perception

    Week three: The science of Vibration what are waves?

    Week four: The basics of Music and Harmonious sound.

    Week five: Sound Healing

    Week six: The Vibrating Human

    Week seven: How do instruments work

    Week eight: Styles of Sound Work, Vibrational Medicine and Ethics

  • Embody Rhythm is a fun class for everyone in person or online. I will  help you expand your sense of Rhythm and Melody with call and echo, body drumming, word and counting games, drum language. We will use  simple movement to experience what different rhythmic effects and patterns feel like. I work with Left/Right balance, Upper/Lower body coordination and create games and exercises to meet the needs of individual students. We alternate between sitting and standing, full body movement or foot taps, analysis and practical application. I provide a set of tuned percussion tubes (BoomWhackers) that turn simple patterns into cool grooves. We can also learn arrangements of World Rhythms that can be applied to any instrument or dance. Be prepared to Drum, Sing, and Dance!

  • I like to teach this class as my teachers taught me, by example, without words or concepts. I go slowly and methodically and I prefer not to get into excessive analysis or discussion.  Students learn and remember by speaking syllables that help memorization.  Sometimes I give notation.  Our repertoire consists of material I have learned from Abdoulaye Diakite, Mamady Keita and Karamba Dambakate, including: YANKADI/MAKRU, SORSONETT, KUKU, KOTEDJUGA, KASSA, MANDIANI, KAKILAMBE (4 &6;), GARENGEDON, FANGA, DJOLE,  and other rhythms. I teach each rhythm with a specific call or break which identifies it, allowing me to call changes and new rhythms with my drum and keep verbal talking to a minimum and drum talk to a maximum. This keeps energy fresh, moving forward, and aligned with the tradition. Typically we play one ensemble rhythms for 6 to 10 weeks while briefly touching on others to maintain our repertoire. I encourage senior students to improvise, solo, and memorize lead technique patterns and arrangements. Private lessons and beginning classes are available.


    Level 1- Introduction to djembe drumming: bass, tone and slap, simple movement patterns, flams, learning to hear the break. Call and response. Listening to dun dun. Basic dun dun and accompaniment patterns for Sorsonett, Yankadi, Fanga, Djole.

    Level 1.5- Work on slaps, distinguishing tones and slaps at faster tempo. More complex dun dun patterns. Kuku, Djole, Yankaki/Makru arrangements,  Students learn to call the rhythm in and out. 1st movement to N’gri.

    Level 2- Strengthening tones, being relaxed. Standing and playing. More complex movement of the hands. Faster tempo. Self expression- riffing around the dun dun and calling clean breaks. Accompaniment and dun dun for Mandiani, Garengdon.

    Level 3- Complete arrangements for Ngri, Yankadi, Makru, Kassa, Djan, Sunu, Sorsonett, Komodenu, Dansa. Learning solo parts (“technique”).

    Listening list:
    Mamady Keita “Wassolon” and “Nankama”
    Adama Drame “Great masters of Percussion”
    Les Ballet Africain Vols. 1 & 2
    Fatala “Gongoma Times”
    Farafina “Bolomakote”
    “Abdoul Doumbia”

  • This class has 4 levels.

    Level 1 – FUN WITH DRUMS Introductory class: covers basic posture, strokes, concepts and simple patterns with both sticks and hands. I provide specific exercises each week for homework as well as creating games, dialogues and compositions for the class. In this class you learn how drumming works, what the variables are and most importantly how to keep steady musical time. We learn through repetition, with the body and the mind, intuitively and intellectually. We respect and learn from the drum, the rhythm and each other.

    Level 2 – Continues and adds ensemble rhythms of varying complexity. Our repertoire includes: AFOXE, TUMBAO, MAKUTA, DJESSE MULOUMBO, MBAYE, and BOMBA, CALYPSO. We play one rhythm for 6 weeks and work on bell and clave extensively with sticks, hands and body rhythm.

    Level 3 – Expands the ensemble to include full arrangements with talking drum, bells, and shekere as well as variations on the appropriate parts. I include rhythms of greater complexity: YAN VALU, NIGERIAN HIGHLIFE, ZEBULA, BEMBE, PALO, MACULELE.

    Level 4 – Emphasizes musicality, versatility and musicianship. Students learn to make calls, respond, change tempo and dynamics, change feel, and to improvise variations. Advanced clave concepts and 4 vs. 6 illusions are presented through such challenging rhythms as RUMBA, ABA CUA, CONGA, MOZAMBIQUE, ELIMA, WARA, BAKONGO, SAMBA DE RODA, CABULA, SIKYI HIGHLIFE and KPANLOGO. Students are encouraged to expand and develop their vocabulary and understanding of common rhythms found in contemporary popular music and learn to create meaningful variations of them.

  • This class is a preparation for the CARNAVAL SPIRIT Parade Group and focuses on the instruments of the Bateria: Surdo, Caixa, Agogo, Tamborim, Ganza, Repinique, Reco Reco, Pandiero and Quica. I conduct class with students standing in a circle and everyone learns a simple step to mark time. We proceed by speaking patterns and arrangements, then learning instrumental technique.

    Our repetoire includes : BAIAO, AFOXE, SAMBA REGGAE, SLOW SAMBA and MARACATU as well as several of my own compositions. The emphasis here is on musicality. The techniques are simple, the arrangements straightforward and accessible, and the music is exciting. We also expore Afro Brazilian hand drum rhythms such as Ijexa, Congo, Cabula, Barravento, Congu and Maculele. Advanced students may be invited to play for dance class.

    I conduct this class standing in a circle. I show simple footstep which lock every one into the same time frame and from there we speak the rhythms we want to learn. Finally we deal with instrumental techniques, patterns and variations. I find this process to be very effective in helping people to always know where the pulse is, which stroke or rest of the pattern is “1” and how to express themselves within the framework of the music. They also learn how closely dance is associated with the drumming, and in fact, are started on a path which may lead them to dancing, which is where they will learn the real “feel” and soul of the music.

    Level 1- Intro to Brazil percussion: ganza, agogo, tamborim, surdo. Basic dance steps and hand claps. Simple chants. Slow Samba and Afoxe. Samba Reggae. Call and response with Bateria.

    Level 1.5- Contra surdo, caxia (tarol), more agogo patterns, faster tempo. Call and response with repinique and bateria plus simple songs.

    Level 2- Hand drum rhythms: Ijexa, Maculele, Samba, Capoeira. More difficult instruments: berimbau, pandiero, cuica. Harder songs.

    Level 3- Tamborim designs for Batucada. Repinique calls. Agogo, cuica, and pandeiro solo. Samba Reggae styles. Playing for dancers. Adapting folkloric rhythms to drum set and Bateria.

    Hear the Music

  • These classes are structured for intermediate level players and those who have extensive background listening or dancing to Cuban Music. The focus is on RUMBA, CONGA, AGBE, PALO and MOZAMBIQUE. I do extensive breakdown and analysis to show relationships between parts. I give many exercises for learning to hear the interplay of patterns. It is expected that students do considerable listening and practicing on their own. In advanced classes we learn songs.

    I know many songs and teach them when appropriate, and I do not teach Bata drumming.

    Cuban music is very tricky to the uneducated ear. Anyone who wants to study with me must make a commitment to regularly listening to recordings of the masters. I require that students go through a rhythm fundamentals class, as well as have proper conga technique.

    Level 1- Intro to Cuban music: Clave and Tumbao. Rumba Yambu. Basic Rumba dance steps. Ritmo Yuka. Ritmo Agbe.

    Level 1.5- Ritmo Iyesa. Rumba Guaguanco. Ritmo Makuta. Ritmo Palo. Basic Bongo. Basic Quinto.

    Level 2- Ritmo Abacua. Rumba Columbia. Ritmo Conga. Basic timbales. Quinto Movements. Ritmos de Arara.

    Level 3- Ritmo Songo. Ritmo Mozambique. Advanced Solo ideas. Playing for and with dancers. Applying folkloric rhythms to drumset.

    Private Lessons Available.

    Hear the Music

    Kim in Havana, Cuba 1985 at the home of our teacher, friend and guide Pello el Afrokan, creator of the Carnaval music and dance Mozambique. Standing, left to right: world famous Rumbero Carlos Embale, Gerry Shilgi, Pello, Kim. Sitting in front of Kim – Mike Pluznick, far right- unknown relative of Pello’s.

  •  This class teaches counting, notation and analysis with movement as a means of understanding rhythm. Various theories, definitions and concepts are presented and challenged, including Eastern and Western notation systems. The goal of this class is to help students learn and embody accurate musical time, learn basic notation, and to know how and what to count.
  •  I’ve been playing drum set since 1980, and I specialize in a world beat approach, mixing African, Caribbean and Brazilian Rhythms with Rock and Roll. I teach in private lessons to with all ages. I start with basic two and three way coordination, then follow the student and give related patterns for variation and challenge. I emphasize feel, dynamics and encourage counting to develop precision. I use notation when appropriate, usually after playing to remember what we did, rather than before playing, to try and tell what to do. I can also coach students on learning percussion pieces from notation.

Private & Group Lessons Available

Feel free to contact Kim regarding Private lessons, small groups or any other configuration you don’t see listed above.

From his students…

“He makes what seems complex, fun and accessible.”
“Paced ingeniously, so there is something for everyone!”
“Kim has a way of bringing in his vast knowledge and experience at each class.”
“I’ve studied percussion with various teachers across the country for 10 years, and Kim is truly the finest teacher I’ve found.”
“Kim is creative, challenging, and above all, patient and good humored with students of all skill levels.”