1) Why, amongst all music workshops, are drum workshops so popular?
ANSWER: Everybody just loves having the opportunity to hit a drum! Regardless of age, gender, ethnicity and ability, we all find fun in this activity and there is a special sense of community achieved when drumming as a group. All instruments are provided by our drum teachers making these workshops ultra-accessible.
2) Are your drum teachers qualified?
ANSWER: Some of them have teaching qualifications, but most drumming is taught and learnt orally. Rhythms are best taught by sounds made vocally to direct a drumming group in a drum workshop. Be they African djembe tutors, Indian dhol drum tutors, Brazilian samba drum tutors, Chinese drum tutors or Caribbean steel drum tutors- they all will have been well-versed in their respective oral traditions when it comes to teaching percussion- and will be great communicators!
3) Are your drum teachers insured and have they been DBS checked?
ANSWER: We have full public liability insurance cover and our talented and experienced tutors have all been DBS checked and will show their certification on their arrival at your venue if you haven’t already received it by email from us before.
4) What sorts of events are suitable for ethnic drum workshops?
ANSWER: Our Tropical Entertainers do a lot of work in primary schools, secondary schools, SEN schools, colleges and universities. But they also do a lot of work at events for charities and corporations who hold seminars and run motivation programmes.
5) Do your Tropical Entertainers perform as well as run ethnic drum workshops?
ANSWER: Although some events call for our ethnic artists to spend most of their time teaching, there are just as many- with the obvious exception of educational institutions- where the balance between teaching and performance is quite different. Some events require our artists to mostly perform with just maybe 30 minutes of drum workshop activity included.
6) Do you have teachers who deliver drum workshops on tuned instruments?
ANSWER: Yes, although strictly speaking interactive ‘steel band workshops’ otherwise known as ‘steel pan workshops’ or ‘steel drum workshops’ are not really ‘drum workshops’ in the strictest sense. Drums by definition have flat ‘heads’ that are capable of producing tones by striking them in different ways. Steel pans are not really drums at all. They were traditionally made from oil drums, but the steel pan tuners work those flat heads into a bowl full of individually sized and separated areas which are tuned to the same concert pitch as any other tuned instrument. So playing a steel pan requires a vastly different skill set to playing a drum! It does not respond well to being hit very hard so more velocity control is required in the early stages of learning the instrument, but it brings special satisfaction in a workshop environment to have a group of people- be they children or adults- play a tune that is recognisable to them.
7) Do your drum teachers provide one-on-one lessons?
ANSWER: Yes, not all drum teaching is in a workshop environment- although we recommend that you start learning this way. If you’d like your skills to progress to a higher level you will need to take private lessons and we do have wonderful private drum tutors we can recommend. But you will ultimately be encouraged to buy your own drum so that you can practice at home the skills you’re being taught.
8) Are ethnic drum workshops available during a pandemic?
ANSWER: Our tropical performers’ drum workshops can be conducted with the correct social distancing etiquette and procedures necessary throughout delivery and regular sanitisation will be employed in the sharing of instruments. So unless the authorities deem them unsafe, music workshops can and should still be available. During this pandemic we have seen the free world embrace the social principles of Black Lives Matter. Our black artists are fully committed to both performance and the delivery of their drum workshops in the Black History month of October even more now than ever before.
9) Are ethnic drum workshops from your Tropical Entertainers expensive?
ANSWER: We have a range of different packages to suit a range of budgets and will try and book the best ethnic artists that are as local to you as possible to keep your costs down.
10) What are the social benefits of ethnic drum workshops over other music workshops?
ANSWER: Our ethnic drummers are great teachers who will help all the participants to gain an understanding and respect for other ethnicities and cultures to encourage them further to embrace cultural diversity and embrace the concept of teamwork!