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Events > Beginning Hand Drumming Class

I promise that whoEver you are, you have a profound sense of rhythm inside that yearns to be tapped into.  In that same place is a part of your authentic self you've yet to discover.  I hope you don't take my word for it, but rather join us on this journey with an open heart and mind....  Nothing else required.
Pic of Rich with drum after performing for the Class of 2011 Graduation

Drumming has been a magical source of fun, connection, community, rejuvenation, self discovery, expression, growth and healing that has changed my life in the most unexpectedly beautiful ways.  I'd love to see it do the same for you!

If you've tried drumming before, but this doorway has yet to open for you, please give me (and yourself!) a chance to prove it's not you, just that the right teacher hasn't appeared until now.  (I can't tell you where the special gift for teaching / coaching that lives inside me originated, only that it belongs to you and awaits....)

TIME/DATES: 2:30-4 pm, Sundays: 11/20, 11/27, 12/11, 12/18
- Public drum circle/music jam will follow each class! (4:15-5:30; open to all)

LOCATION: Air & Fire Mystical Bazaar (Boulder Creek, CA)
- Carpool available (heading over the hill from Palo Alto and points South)

If this class doesn't work for you (eg, due to time/location), yet something about it calls you, please and we'll set one up that does!

Emphasis is on having fun and building confidence, while laying in a solid foundation of good drumming technique and musicality that you can build on for a lifetime.  Class is followed by a public drum circle/music jam (invite your musician and dancer friends!), so that you can immediately get jammin' with what you've learned, while playing with perhaps more seasoned drummers.

You will learn...

Basic technique for djembe, ashiko, and conga types of drums:

  • How to hold and position your drum
  • How to get the proper sounds from your drum and really make it sing
  • How to play for hours without getting tired or hurtin' your paws


  • We'll learn to play some traditional African rhythms and songs, a bit of the culture behind them, and perhaps some others by your request

Advanced Technique:

  • What to do if you lose the rhythm you’re playing or get lost
  • How to sit down and make a positive contribution to a rhythm that's already happening (such as at a drum circle or music jam), even if you don't have the technical ability to play what others are playing
  • Surrendering the ego in service of "the groove"

PRICE: $60 for the 4-class series, paid by the first class; or $20/class drop-in

LIMIT: First 12 students to register (Preference given to those who register for the series, since each class builds on the last in progression)

TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT: Call 831-338-7567, or

Please let us know in advance (ASAP) if you have don't have access to a djembe, ashiko, or conga type drum.  We can spend some time on drum shopping (specifically, "finding *your* drum" :) if there's interest.

Rich is a professional trainer with 15+ years experience teaching various subjects around the US, in multiple countries, in English/Spanish, from corporate environments to juvenile halls.  As a drummer, he's performed in numerous venues for 10+ years, both soloing and with multiple bands.  Rhythmically, he has studied with: Zorina Wolf, Don Davidson, Baba Olatunji, Kevin Marshall, Arthur Hull, Ma Boukaka, Mamadou Kone, Teina Lucas, Wade Peterson, Keith Terry, Reinhard & Cornelia Flatischler, Mamady Keita, Mickey Hart, Gordy & Zoe Ryan, Mary Knysh, and more.  He teaches a unique mix of what he's learned from each of these fantastic teachers, customized to match the particular goals of each individual/class.

Rhythm is at the very heart of our existence.  We are carried through every second of our individual lives by the rhythm of our heartbeat and breath.  Collectively, we're all connected by and carried through the larger cycles of our lives by the specific rhythm of light and darkness, day and night, produced by our particular planet's unique spin...and by the rhythm of the seasons produced by the Earth's unique yearly journey around the sun.  In fact, "second," "minute," "hour," "day," "year" would have no meaning to us were it not for this celestial foundation of rhythm to which all life is a way so fundamental that we rarely notice.

This is but one of the many ways the drum expands our consciousness:  It connects our awareness to the rhythm that is life itself.  Another doorway is that life lessons show up on the drum.

It doesn't matter if you realize or understand this "head stuff," though.  What matters is the magic that happens when you experience this conscious connection to all that is, and to the core of your existence, while drumming.  Though you'll likely be having too much fun to notice, slowly, if approached properly, it could transform you...and your the most unexpectedly beautiful of ways....

"Rhythm is the soul of life."  ~ Babatunde Olatunji

"By drumming, we connect to what is important. As individuals and in groups, we articulate the beat that is life, awakening the life force in all things. A sense of rhythm is a sense of life and rejuventation that is essential to a well-balanced, integrated, successful partnership with life. And, it's fun, too — if you're not smiling, you're not doing it right."
~ Russell Buddy Helm, The Way of the Drum

"Sound is a uniquely potent form of energy medicine that entrains us to the vibrations of our own essence and that of the Universe. Sound is also the simplest, most direct route I know to achieve the sense of profound calm that allows us to move into that peaceful inner place, that I call our essence."
~ Dr. Mitchell L. Gaynor, M.D.
- Director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Strang-Cornell Cancer Prevention Center & author of "Sounds of Healing"

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