May 23 • May 30 • June 6
$15 Per Person
Minimum 10 People
Music is a place of solace and rejuvenation during this pandemic, and nothing is more grounding or instills a sense of community than the rhythmic sound of a drum. Beat the isolation and connect with other beginners to learn the basics of West African drumming from Maine’s very own Annegret Baier!
Each class will begin with a poly-rhythmic “warm-up” where we’ll synchronize our bodies to the pulse while stepping on the beat and clapping various rhythms and off-beats.
Then we’ll practice the 3 basic strokes on the drum: Bass,Tone and Slap in simple patterns, always listening to a clean sound.
Once we’re warmed up I will teach several drum and percussion parts as well as a song for the rhythm of that day.
Relax, have fun and enjoy learning and playing some cool grooves!
Please have your drum ready, Djembe, Conga or Ashiko. No Bongos! If you have, also grab some small percussion instruments like a shaker, bell or woodblock, which you might use if you want to play a counter rhythm and to give your hands a rest!
If you don't yet have a drum, we encourage you to borrow one from a friend or give yourself the gift of purchasing one for use during this workshop! A variety of African drums may be purchased online.
Workshop #1 • May 23
Fanga is a welcoming rhythm from Liberia which has been taught and made popular in the US by the late and great Babatunde Olatunji. It is a rhythm often played in drum circles everywhere. The Fanga call-and-response song is in the Yoruba language and captures the essence of peace, friendship and hospitality.
Workshop #2 • May 30
Kpanlogo is a rhythm of the Ga people from southern Ghana. It is played for recreational and celebratory reasons and has many regional variations. We will be learning several Kpanlogo songs and breaks and rhythms, both on drums and hand percussion instruments.
Workshop #3 • June 6
Kuku, Guinea + Ivory Coast
Kuku comes from the Manian/Konianka people in the forest region of south eastern Guinea and the bordering Ivory Coast. A popular rhythm, played for all kinds of celebrations, it was originally played when the women came home from fishing and then used their fishing tools in the dance. The rhythm contains several accompaniment parts, calls and a song!
Annegret grew up in Germany and received her classical music training in violin, voice and piano from the University of Music in Stuttgart. She has studied with master drummers from Guinea, Ghana, Cuba and Brazil.
She maintains a busy performance schedule throughout Maine and New England, performing solo and with the bands: Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm, and The Zulu Leprechauns. When she is not touring or giving school residencies for all age students, she teaches individual and group drumming classes and gives workshops throughout New England.
"I have found that my hand drumming always has a strong primal and physical appeal to audiences and invites the listener to participate and react directly through hand clapping and dancing.
I'm glad to inspire particularly women and younger girls by playing a traditionally male instrument. I hope to convince every woman of her power and strength to go out in the world and choose freely what she wants to do in her life."