The Troupe
This drummer's journey with other drummers.

Flirting with a workshop

I have been giving some thought to hosting a Doumbek Basics for Beginners Workshop.   I think I have enough skill and confidence to be able to give new drummers a good overview, and not create bad habits or turn anyone off of drumming.  The last few months have done a lot for my teaching abilities, which while still far from perfect, will only continue to improve if I continue to teach.

To do a workshop, and in fact to get to the point where I think it makes sense, I need to go through the mental process.

Things to consider:

  • Who am I hoping to attract? I hope to teach brand new drummers, who I envision to be dancers and their boyfriends and/or husbands that are interested.   I will find out how much response I have by sending out a “Forming Up” sheet to a few of the local classes in the area.
  • Do I have the necessary grounding in the basics to teach them? I am confident that I have the basics mastered enough to teach them without causing harm.  I can explain, demonstrate, diagram and instruct the beginning rhythms and concepts.   Having already done it with members of the drum troupe, I know that I can.
  • What do I mean by basics? The three base strokes (Doum, Tek, and Ka) and the proper hand technique for them.  The Beledi family, the Shiftitelli, and the Ayoub rhythms.  Practice routines, including drills for the fundamentals.
  • How long will the workshop last? I anticipate 2 hours.   More than that and the students will be too tired and distracted.  Less than that and we would probably run out of time.
  • What will the lesson plan be? To be covered in the future.  (Seems like a good topic for when I get there for the blog.   Never write two articles in one space.  Heh. )
  • What handouts will I need?
  1. Notation handouts for each rhythm taught.
  2. Drill and exercise handouts.
  3. Resources handouts.
  • Will it be “Bring Your Own Drum”, or will I have loaners? BYOD, for sure.
  • How many students can I comfortably and competently teach at once? I think between 8 and 10.
  • Do I have the space to accommodate that many students?  Yes, up to 6 at my home, up to 12 at a studio.
  • What, if anything, would I charge for the workshop? $20.00 per student is a fairly standard rate in this area.

It is a lot to think about for sure.  If anyone has any points or questions I missed, please let me know.

One thing I do know for certain, teaching the drummers over the last few months has increased my own skill greatly.   Somewhere between really needing to think about my techniques, and feeling inspired to practice more to keep ahead of them, and remembering and using forgotten practice routines, my drumming is sharper now than it has ever been.

It is really cool to see that with drumming, as with all things that truly matter in life, you get out of it what you put into it.

One Response to “Flirting with a workshop”

  1. I’d take your workshop. I got a shiny new doumbek for my birthday and rented a how-to DVD but I think live instruction would be better. Do it! Do it!


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