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Class Descriptions & Schedules BTD 2022


Sound Healing Chamber

Come experience a soothing space to lay your burdens down and heal through silence and sound.  Envelope your senses in calm tranquility and let your stress melt away in this sonic sanctuary.

Amy Vitro

The Shekere: Dancing With Fire

All Levels (Class will go over the basics and take it from there.)

In this workshop, Amy will provide space for anyone interested in learning about this beautiful gourd instrument and to share her love of the music, rhythms, and history of the shekere gourd drum. Come and experience how the shekere brings the fire!

There will be limited shekeres for use if you don’t have your own. 

Arisika Razak

Mobilizing for Change in Challenging Times

No one can deny that we are in the midst of difficult and challenging times. Currently, we face racial hatred, classism, gender-based violence, catastrophic climate change, global health crises, and homo-and-transphobia. It is difficult not to fall into despair. What can we do to lessen our fear, and how can we maintain balance when so much is at stake? Join me as we use movement, guided meditation, ancestral wisdom, and sound to reconnect to our true purpose in this incarnation. Let’s release past and continuing traumas and identify our resources for health, joy, and personal and social transformation – right here and right now.

Finding Our Joy in the Midst of Our Difficulties

We didn’t come to the world just to mourn, we came to celebrate. In spite of all our current difficulties, our bodies and the lives of our other-than human-kin provide a changing and transformative source of joy, equanimity, and transformation. Using movement, sound, story-telling, physical embodiment, writing, and voice, we will connect to the indwelling sources of joy that are part of our human and ancestral inheritance

Ava Square

West African Dance for Self Reflection

Dancing brings a certain amount of blessed inner joy to the dancers, drummers, and those watching. It also brings inner contemplation. Knowingly or through the unconscious. In this class we will dance to our hearts content and also intentionally check in with ourselves. We will celebrate the beauty that movement creates as we connect with rhythm, soul, and each other. Our movements of body and spirit will guide us along thought provoking paths of expression. Paths that include the opportunity to explore and share our rich and vital inner messages with each other. A safe space to move body, mind, and spirit!

Ayanna Gallant

Go Go Jammm!

Everyone Welcome

Go Go music has been the distinctive sound of the Washington D.C. area for decades. It’s undeniable African roots are carried by the use of percussion, call and response, syncopation, and improvisation. With a funky style and freedom to groove, it is the perfect rhythm to get us jamming with whatever you’ve got! 

Carolyn Brandy

The Conga Drum!

Beginning Class

We will learn basic technique and sounds; how to sit and hold the drum; and a few simple rhythms to get us started with this charismatic drum. We will also learn some of the history of the development of this drum from Africa to Cuba to North America. 

Intermediate Class

In this class we will play some of the popular Afro-Cuban rhythms for the conga drum with assorted percussion, and songs. Some of the rhythm songs we will play (time permitting) are: Yuka, Makuta, 6/8 Bembé, Güiro, Guaguanco, Iyesa and Conga.

 A knowledge of conga technique, Clave, palito, and the 6/8 bell pattern are required. Each day will build on the previous days of teaching. Some conga drums will be available.

CJ Grossman

Book Workshop

No Experience Necessary

Create a journal/sketchbook with me! I will teach you how to make a journal you’ll want to keep using again and again. You can also dedicate it to notations at Drum Workshops! We’ll use beautiful fabrics from all over the world. Also, I’ll show you a few ways to spice up the pages – with collage, embossing, staining and other methods to make a page pop! 

I’ll provide all the materials, but you can bring anything you’d like to use including: fabric (even an old piece of clothing you can’t bear to throw away!), ribbons, stamps, anything you like. 

Debbie Fier

Basic Skills: Instruments and Rhythms of the Middle East

Class Is Open To All Levels

Come enjoy the wonderful connection that we will create in our circle of drummers! We will warm up and then move into learning drum technique and Middle-Eastern rhythms. Come enjoy the power of the drum!

Class is open to all levels. It is a basic skills class so is very accessible for beginners. Bring your dumbeks, riqqs, tars and hand percussion. All hand drums are also welcome! There will be a limited number of drums to borrow on a first come, first served basis.

Denise Solis

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba: Language of Sica through Call and Response

1st Class: All Levels

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba: Language of Sica through Call and Response. Participants will practice an important element in Bomba, an interactive session in the rhythm of Sica using call and response within the rhythm. This class will focus on the element of call and response in the tradition of Bomba by learning some of the traditional breaks, which are the  foundations of the the language for any of the different rhythms in the tradition. For this class we will work through some language phrases in the rhythm of Sica.

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba: Stories Through Song

2nd Class: Intermediate

This class will focus on the songs in the tradition of Bomba by learning some of the traditional songs in the rhythm of Sica. We will build from the 1st class and incorporate some of the percussion phrases and add the song to build on our Bomba Batey experience (Batey = where Bomba happens).

Elizabeth Sayre

The Batá Drum!

Students At All Levels Are Welcome: See Note Below

The batá drums of Cuba are part of the collective musical genius preserved and still developing in Afro-Cuban communities in Havana and Matanzas. The batá drums salute the revered forces of nature known as orisha (the crossroads, iron, the forest, the mountain, the wind, thunder &lightning, the river, the seas, etc.) and are part of a living spiritual tradition. They have also over time become part of the national cultural heritage of Cuba.

This class will introduce a bit of history (or herstory–crucial in the case of the batá for women students and players), correct posture and hand technique, several fundamental rhythms (such as Lalubanche, Ogún, Yakotá, Egbado [Rumba Obatalá] or others) and possibly some orisha songs. We will cover different material in each class.

At least one year of hand drum study and knowledge of 6/8 bell patterns/clave are recommended for the classes. The batá have their own hand technique (similar to congas and bongo) and require the constant development of listening and ensemble-playing skills. Students at all levels are welcome: beginners will have a crash course in the batá; intermediate and advanced players can try a part or drum they haven’t played before. Please bring batá drums (no other type of drum) and maracas (or a similar type of shaker with a handle and a clean sound). Some drums will be provided for those who don’t have them!

Evelie Delfino Sales Posch

Journey Into Sacred Indigenous Instruments

All Levels (beginning to advanced)

Evelie invites you to join this playshop/ritual with the intention of opening the heart, connecting to spirit, deep roundedness of being, healing, inspiring action and transformation.

Everyone will be treated to sacred indigenous instruments from southern Philippines such as, the following:

No other drums needed.

Jeni Swerdlow

Rhythm Reboot!

All Levels and Abilities Are Welcome

Join in an uplifting community drummm celebration that will unite, energize, and inspire as we play rhythms for vitality and transformation. We’ll release the old and drum in the new.

Bring any kind of drum or percussion instrument or play one of Jeni’s.

Mabiba Baegne

Djembe Vibrations

All Levels

Come and experience the power of the drum through traditional West African rhythms. Class will start with a short warm up to connect with the vibrations of the drum as you start your journey. We will transition into a West African rhythm that will be upbeat and fun. This class will help improve your technique, timing, listening skills, and confidence as you sit with the drum. 

Mar Stevens

Dunun (Bass Drums) from Guinea

All Levels

Those drums are the heart of the Malinke rhythm: the bass drum are made from hallowed tree trunks cut to a cylindrical shape and covered with cowhide at both end: the musician strikes the drum with a wooden stick on one hand, while the other hand simultaneously holds a metal stick that is used to strike an iron bell attached to the drum. The Dunun comes in three different sizes. The names of the drums are: Kenkeni, the smallest and the keeper of the time; Sangban, the middle one is the heart; Dununba gives power and heat to the rhythm as well adding great rhythmic dimension; the bells bring another tonality and fill the space between the beats. In some regions they play one or two. Only in Kurussa and Kankan region, they play all three Dununs and bells.

Bring your djembe, djuns, congas, hand percussion, etc. There will be extra djembes available on a first come, first served basis.

Regina Wells Rashida Oji

Embodied Movement

All Levels

Warm, stretch and prep for whole-self drum, dance, song and healing. Connect to places inside you that drum, dance, sing and heal with effortless passion, physical ease and presence. Learn and create simple moves that lubricate joints, renew muscular elasticity, reduce strain and invite Goddess presence to pour through you with unhindered joy. Wear soft, loose clothes. Bring a mat, towel or blanket. Make brief notes if you like.


Marly Perez

Afro-Colombian Rhythms

We will explore Afro-Colombian Rhythms that are played on the Atlantic North Coast of Colombia. I love having the opportunity of teaching a Colombian drumming workshop to all of you at Born To Drum this summer. The main rhythm is called Cumbia, or Cumbe’ which means party, celebration.

Sena Kugbega

Drums, Dance, Songs And Culture From Ghana

All Levels

Drums, Dance, Songs and Culture from GhanaThis class will include basic drum rhythms and songs from Ghana with some history of what they are used for.  We will also learn the dance that goes with the dance. This is an opportunity to put the drum, dance and song together. 


Sheree Seretse

Welcome to the World of Zimbabwean Marimba Music

All Levels

The ensemble of instruments is comprised of sopranos, tenors, baritones and bass marimbas. The class will include an introduction and cultural perspective. The workshop will not use written notation. It will draw upon your listening and visual skills. The music is made of short repetitive melodies and rhythms which interact to create polyphonic and polyrhythmic sounds and melodies. If you can hone into those skills and use your hands you can play the marimba. Come make a joyful sound with this infectious music. Each session will focus on a different song.

Sue Kaye (Suki)

From Congo to Cuba And…..

All Levels

We will come together and play drum songs with a fusion of styles, from Congo to Cuba and…..Most of all we’ll get our groove on jamming and having a funky good time!

Susu Pampanin and Amina Goodyear

Middle Eastern Percussion and Rhythms

Basics (Middle Eastern drumming)

Great class for new players and players looking to review technique to make clear sounds on the drum (dumbek, darbuka, Egyptian tabla), frame drum, riq, and finger cymbals. We will go slow and do drills and introduce a few of the most important rhythms found in Middle Eastern music. Bring instruments of your choice. We will provide finger cymbals for all and a few drums.

Intermediate (Middle Eastern drumming)

Great class for experienced players ready to take their technique to the next level. We will learn/review the most commonly used rhythms needed to jam, play for dancers, or play in a band (Middle Eastern or fusion).

We will cover basic technique at a fast pace (slaps included), learn to add accents, finger rolls, and short rolls to spice up and enhance your rhythms, jams, and solos. We will do speed building exercises and lots of technique and rhythm drills. Any rhythm request will be accommodated! Bring instrument of your choice. Finger cymbals and a few drums available for class.


Vicki Noble

Motherpeace Cards

In this workshop, we will play with the round feminist Motherpeace cards, created by me and Karen Vogel in the late 1970s, self-published in Berkeley in 1981.

Motherpeace has gone around the world, engaging women everywhere in a common visual language of female-centered, communal reality. The 78 Motherpeace images were intended to revise world history, putting women back into it, and revision and reinvigorate the otherwise male-dominated system of Tarot. Besides the obvious focus on women, more than half the images in the Motherpeace cards feature people of color (mainly women), celebrating their ancient, tribal, or indigenous contexts.

When we created the Motherpeace cards, we broke form by making them round and feminist. However, we did not break the structure, so you can bring whatever knowledge you have from other Tarot decks to this one. Because the images are so dreamlike and visually complex, it is also equally possible to read them without knowing anything at all about Tarot.

In the workshop, we will use the cards as an oracle in simple, direct ways, so that it doesn’t matter whether you have experience or not. It will be more about sharing and caring, what I’ve always called Sacred Play. If you own a deck of Motherpeace cards, please bring them. Otherwise, I will have cards there for sale.