Learning to make the drum speak


We had a fantastic evening here last night at The Wellbeing Centre, learning to make the drum speak with an introduction to African Djembe drumming with Graeme Goodwin of Rhythmworks UK. Graeme gave a fun, friendly, informal introductory workshop to a packed room of djembe novices.

A djembe is a rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum played with bare hands, originally from West Africa. Graeme explains “the roots of popular music – all that we’ve been listening to for the past few decades including jazz, blues, pop & rock – all trace back to West African percussion.”

It was noisy work but somehow the louder we played our drums, the quieter it felt on the inside. There is a meditative quality to the repetitive nature of the rhythms and as the conscious mind lets go and the unconscious mind takes over, there is a feeling of calm and relaxation.

Everyone left feeling uplifted and all had great things to say about the workshop:

“Inspirational for musicians and sympathetic and achievable for those who feel they have little rhythm. An informative and passionate teacher.”

“Wonderful music, amazing teacher, feel relaxing.”

“It was amazing to see it broken down, it gives greater understanding. I think a method I could really learn with.”

“Great workshop, learned a lot musically & spiritually.”

“Really loved it today. Thank you very much!”

“Really enjoyed the evening. I need to build my endurance – muscle wise but loved the rhythm.”

“Good fun & therapeutic.”

“Really fun. Found therapeutic.”

“Really enjoyed it. Amazed at how much we learnt so quickly.”

“Really great class. Good to get a grounding.”

“Thanks so much for organising, brilliant.”

“Really had a great time, got sore hands now!”

“A liberating experience – thank you Graeme and Claire.”

“Completely mesmerised and taken me somewhere else. Very enjoyable.”

“Mindblowing to say the least. Brilliant night!” Thank you so much for sharing the rhythm of life with us all!”


“Thanks so much for a great evening. I’m amazed how much I learnt in a short amount of time. I can’t wait to learn more!”

If you’d like to come and experience djembe drumming for yourself, we have a 4-week course starting Friday 5th July. Classes run from 7.30pm – 9.30pm. If you have your own drum, you are welcome to bring it along but Graeme has enough drums for everyone if you don’t (although he can make one for you if you’d like one!)

There are just 15 places available (we can fit more in the room but Graeme likes to keep the classes to within this number so that he can give everyone enough attention to guide them properly through the techniques and rhythms) so do grab your place quickly! At just £40 for 8hours worth of drumming (4 x 2-hour workshops), this is an opportunity not to be missed!

You will learn:

  • the positive effect of percussion meditation
  • the practice of the primary TONES played on the Djembe
  • ‘time’ precision TEMPO whilst learning to make the drum ‘speak’
  • understand and PLAY the fundamental parts of West African Percussion and Djembe music
  • to ‘Free your Mind’ and find greater calmness and relaxed nature

For more details contact Graeme on 07920 027140 or email rhythmworks@ymail.com.

To book your place, simply book through the Eventbrite link below:

The Wellbeing Centre

The Wellbeing Centre in Newbury, Berkshire, provides you with the perfect retreat; a sanctuary of calm, to take you away from the stresses of everyday life, in a tranquil, warm, friendly environment. Dedicated to the use of natural remedies and holistic treatments, The Wellbeing Centre hosts a wide variety of affordable and well revered therapies to help improve and maintain your health, happiness and well being.

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