Friday, July 1, 2016

Book Nook: Whole Person Drumming

As a musician, I know about how important rhythm and sound are to music. I also know how important silence is. I recently got to review Whole Person Drumming, which talks about not just the sounds, but also the silence.

Zorina Wolf has a passion for drumming and community, a passion that is evident in the book and  videos she creates, appropriate for people of all music backgrounds. She has a great deal of experience, with fourteen years of study under one of the great Nigerian drummers Babatunde Olatunji, and has also taught drumming for over two decades. The book clearly explains the three traditional sounds (bass, tone, and slap), how to build stamina to handle longer drumming sessions, and how to use your body to move or speak the syllables to learn rhythms. Not only does she explain the fundamentals of drum playing, but she also works it into meditation, using drumming as a way to relax and get your whole body in tune with itself.

As a musician, parts of the book were actually a challenge to read - from someone who is used to reading traditional notation. However, it was written so that all people, not just musicians, could learn, and she does a very could job at using non-traditional methods to encourage even those who don't read music to become proficient drummers. (Many drummers learn without any written instruction anyway, so it's more similar to the authentic way of learning by hearing and feeling.)

Zorina Wolf is the founder of Village Heartbeat ( and developer of the Whole Person Drumming® curricula. She is an advanced TaKeTiNa leader and pan-African drum teacher. Through Village Heartbeat, she is offers a variety of workshops in the US, Canada, Malaysia, and elsewhere.

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