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. This is because drumming as a group achieves a special sense of community. Our drum teachers provide all the instruments which makes these workshops very accessible indeed.
2) Are your drum teachers qualified?
ANSWER: Some of them have teaching qualifications, but most teach orally anyway. Rhythms are best taught by sounds made vocally to direct a drumming group in a drum workshop. We have African djembe tutors, Indian dhol drum tutors, Brazilian samba drum tutors and Chinese drum tutors. We even have Caribbean steel drum tutors. Regardless of which drums they teach, all are authentic and have experience in their respective oral traditions when it comes to teaching percussion. Unsurprisingly, all are consequently great communicators!
3) Are your drum teachers insured and have they been DBS checked?
ANSWER: We have full public liability insurance cover. In addition, our talented and experienced tutors will show their DBS certification on their arrival. This is despite us emailing you a copy beforehand.
4) For what sort of events should I hire 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: Schools and other educational organisations hire our ethnic drummers to spend most of their time teaching after a short performance. Some other clients, however, require a quite different balance between teaching and performance. For example, 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, we also supply interactive ‘steel band workshops’ otherwise known as ‘steel pan workshops’ or ‘steel drum workshops’. However, these 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 hammer those flat heads into a bowl. Each bowl is full of individually sized and separated areas which they tune to the same concert pitch as any other instrument. So playing a steel pan requires a vastly different skill set to playing a drum! It does not respond well tonally if you hit it very hard. So more velocity control is definitely an important requirement in the early stages of learning the instrument. Despite this, it brings special satisfaction in a workshop environment to have a group of people 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 our tutors will ultimately encourage you to buy your own drum so that you can practice at home the skills you’re being taught.
8) Are ethnic drum workshops available to hire during a pandemic?
ANSWER: Our tropical performers conduct their drum workshops with the correct social distancing etiquette and procedures necessary throughout delivery. In addition, they employ regular sanitisation 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 fully commit to both the performance and the delivery of their drum workshops. And not only in the Black History month of October!
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!