2019 DESCRIPTIONS COMING SOON! Class Descriptions 2018

Adwoa Kudoto & Sena Kugbega

Drums, Dance, Songs And Culture From Ghana

Adwoa is Ghana’s only recognized female Master drummer. Adwoa is from Cape Coast (West Africa) and has been teaching drumming and dance since she was 13 years old. As a young girl growing up, she always knew what she wanted to do, but women were not allowed to drum. Adwoa managed to break through the obstacles she faced and this struggle has made her so unique! Her fame, talents and skills in performing and teaching are known locally and internationally.

In 2000, Antoinette Adwoa Kudoto received an award from the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana (ACRAG) as the Only Versatile Female Master Drummer in Ghana. She has also received honors from both Television Africa, International Center for African Music and Dance, and Center for Intercultural and Talent Development. She has enjoyed traveling all around the US and Europe sharing her culture with others – both drumming culture and Ghanaian culture in general. In Cape Coast, Adwoa is the leader and founder of the group, Nyame Tsease African Traditionals, comprised of young and talented drummers and dancers in Cape Coast, Ghana.  Adwoa and her daughter, Sena, will be teaching.

Sena Kugbega is from Cape Coast, Ghana, (West Africa) and has been teaching drum and dance since she was 13 years old. As a young girl growing up, she always knew what she wanted to do. Sena has traveled extensively with her mother, award winning and recognized as “the only female master drummer in Ghana”, Adwoa Kudoto. They have traveled throughout the US teaching and performing in Washington, New York, Atlanta and California. Growing up, Sena was always willing to learn: learning how to have fun drumming and dancing. Drumming and dancing has always been part of her life and culture and she does it with enthusiasm and joy!  All Levels

Afia Walking Tree


A strong foundation is the most important part of learning how to play any instrument. Enjoy finding your way into hand techniques for precision, quality sound, holding and connecting with your drum. Through rhythms from West Africa, Jamaica, and beyond, we will explore the language of drumming, including downbeats, upbeats and syncopation along with drum legacies of Afraka and women and men who paved the way for US to drum today. Join the collective frequency and renew and regenerate our spirits! Breath, voice, drum, dance, and our body’s natural rhythms re-aligns our potential to co-create harmony. Newbies, Beginners, All levels

Djembe Dunun Fevah!*

Want to see how djembe and dunun rhythms speak to each other? Want to strap on your drum and learn proper technique? Want to play for dance classes? This class is for YOU! Excel in your Djembe and Dunun playing with body postures (sitting and standing), rhythm placement, hand precision techniques, introductions, accompaniments, and solos. Fine-tune rolls, flams and ambidextrous playing. We will explore Guinea, Jamaica, and original Walking Tree rhythms. This class is great preparation to drum for dance classes. We will have a blast moving and drumming together getting more into our SKINS. *Course Prerequisite: Course taught at intermediate level. Newbie and Beginning drummers are welcomed to observe/witness. *Course Prerequisite: Course taught at intermediate level. Newbie and Beginning drummers are welcomed to observe/witness. Intermediate, Advanced*


15 naked gourd and shekeres available on a first come, first served basis.
All levels


Elemental Medicine Woman ~ The Wisdom of Spirit Sound

Working with sacred chants and songs to call to the natural spirits and ancestors, we delve into the knowledge from various global traditions. This workshop teaches the ancient tradition of singing with large groups in what is known as a circle song. Utilizing the traditions of various cultures, both ancient and contemporary, we focus on developing and improving playing techniques and our own rhythmic vocabulary, and together, we experience the unifying and revitalizing effects of group playing, toning, and singing. All Levels

Angela Porter & Karen Burt Imira

All Doors Are Open to the Heart

This class is a moving invitation to receive ourselves in the ultimate compassion of breath: via body centered mediation and the nurturing practice of Breema, we will explore the natural rhythms and movement of formation and transformation, inhaling and exhaling, holding on and letting go, receiving and releasing… Come prepared to relax and enjoy simple moving meditation practice and nurturing bodywork in an atmosphere of non-judgment and mutual support. No previous experience necessary.

Annette Aguilar

Percussion Control: Fundamentals Of Percussion Playing In Your Natural Way.  Beginners

Developing Your Sound: How to get a sound from your drum. Intermediate

The Multiple Conga Drum in Latin Percussion  Int/Adv.

April Lea Go Forth & Mary Beth Bullock

You N’ Thoz Womenz

Native drum is more than a percussion instrument; it holds the heart beat of Mother Earth and a woman’s natural expression. We will focus on “place” with some topics of: being called, responsibility, heart and prayer in songs. Romanticism of Native drum will be dispelled and we will straight up “kick it”. Drum space and sticks are limited to 15 singers.

The session will address basic drum protocol and terminology of push-up, second/step, honor beats, pick-up and tail. Participants will learn song categories, use, vocables vs language and making payment for songs.

Arisika Razak

Embodying Justice: Diversity, Community, and Spirituality

How can we safely share our different stories and the stories of our ancestors? Have we recognized the power and privilege that exists in our life – and what are we willing to change or unlearn? Is there a common and inclusive language that supports us all, or do we need to create new processes for the current times? What can be learned from the struggles of those before us – and what must we create anew? Join us for a session of small group sharing, diversity exercises, non-denominational ritual, movement and mindfulness as we explore our diverse histories and her-stories, and increase our capacity to serve as genuine allies to one another, committed to the ending of oppression, and the healing of the Earth. All Levels


When Ancestors Speak Through Rhythm

It’s all about La Palabra Musical, The Music Of The Word, the Rhythm that speaks in us & through us & our responsibility in using this most sacred of gifts wisely. Be ready to write, bring your instruments & be prepared to surrender your egos to each other & the Music of the Word. I want to unlock a waterfall of poetic metaphors as strong as any Rhythm you’ve ever heard played on the Drum & see where it take us!!! I’m ready, are you? All Levels

Ayisha Knight-Shaw

American Sign Language

In this fun, lively and engaging American Sign Language (ASL) class, students will learn the basics of conversational ASL as a first step to developing receptive and expressive skills. Using direct method and language immersion, role-playing, practice and other activities, everyone will leave this easy-paced, fun-filled class having learned commonly used signs, the basic grammar of ASL, and cultural information on interacting with the Deaf community.

Bobi Céspedes

Oya: Warrior Ruler of the Winds

Using song and storytelling, acclaimed singer and folklorist, Bobi Céspedes, will lead us to a deeper understanding of Orisa Oyá. Oyá represents the wind–one of the five most essential elements of nature. Because the wind is always fluctuating, Oyá is associated with change. She can be an unstable force, capable of transforming in character at a moment’s notice—from a gentle breeze at the seashore to a devastating hurricane. As wind, Oyá also connotes being touched by something invisible. Oyá is the queen of the spirits, and director of those who cannot be seen. She is a bridge between the living and the dead.

The meadow is a perfect place to feel the unseen presence of Oyá! In chants sung in a call and response pattern, we will praise her prowess as a warrior and pray for positive transformations in our lives.

Bonnie Morris


How will we record, preserve, and archive the women’s music movement? Where will YOU leave your drum diaries? Spend some time with women’s music archivist, historian and author Dr. Bon for herstory-making tips.”

Christelle Durandy

Cuban and Latin American Songs

The voices within – An exploration into vocal rhythmic concepts and imaginative improvisation.

Christina Tavera

Ofrenda/ Personal Offerings Class

In this class we will have a hand on experience of making a personal offering or ‘Ofrendas.’ Ofrendas are thousands of years old, and come to us from the Andean region of South America. The ofrendas are created in gratitude for blessings received, or made to ask for blessings. They are made with colorful seeds, beans, flowers and crystals, no two are alike, all are beautiful self-expressions of gratitude. The making of the ofrenda is a ceremony, this class will be held in a container of sacred silence and connection. Once completed, each participant will have their own completed ofrenda. Participants should bring 2-3, or more, of the following elements to incorporate into their offering: (1) cup, each in separate bags – rice, lentils, corn, beans, colored candy sprinkles, or lavender.

Corrina Gould, Lisjan/Ohlone

Living on Ohlone Land, Ohlone Culture and History

Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are always in relationship with Indigenous peoples by being on their ancestral homelands. Corrina will tell stories of Ohlone culture and history as well as give updates on current Indigenous women led campaigns, including the fight to protect the West Berkeley Shellmound, an ancient village and burial site.

Debbie Fier

Living in the Rhythm, an Exploration Body Percussion

We live in our bodies each and every day, and the body is the original instrument, made up of pulses, beats and more. Come play as we tap, snap and clap our way into a playful rhythm zone. We will work with a variety of rhythms, starting simple and progressing into more challenging rhythms. Be prepared to have fun, stretch your limits and become immersed in the joy of being in your body in rhythm!

Drums and Rhythms of the Middle East

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 on dumbeks/darbukas, riqqs (egyptian tambourines) and tars (frame drums).
Class is open to all levels – I will make it accessible for beginners and challenging for intermediates. Bring your dumbeks, riqqs, tars and hand percussion – all other hand drums welcome! There will be a limited number of drums to borrow on a first come first serve basis. Come enjoy the power of the drum!

Edwina Tyler


Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced classes

Elizabeth Sayre

Afro-Cuban Batá

The batá drums of Cuba are a beautiful facet 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, as well as ancestors, 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, and some relevant orisha songs, depending on students’ interests and requests.

At least one year of hand drum study and knowledge of typical 6/8 bell patterns or clave are recommended for this workshop. The batá have their own hand technique (similar to congas and bongo, but also different) and require the constant development of listening skills. Students at all levels are welcome: beginners will have a crash course in the batá; intermediate and advanced players can try a drum or part 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!

Basic Skills: Clave, Bell, Stick Parts, and Basic Hand Technique for Conga Drums

This workshop is for women who have never played hand drums before, or who are just beginning. From the perspective of Afro-Cuban folkloric music, we will study technique for accompanying instruments (clave, bell, and sticks), as well as hand technique and posture for conga drums. Jump into the fascination of Afro-Cuban music! Beginner level
Edwina Lee Taylor Rivers (watch the video)

Susu Pampanin & Fatima Lahlou

Middle Eastern Drums
Traditional Moroccan Rhythm and Song From Marrakesh-Daqa Marakchia
Moroccan Rhythm and Song-Andalusian

All Levels

Jeni Swerdlow

MA-ATR (www.DRUMMM.com)

Opening Celebration Drummm Circle

Bring your drum, rattle, voice or booty (or all of the above) for a joyful kickoff to Camp! Jeni will get us in the mood to groove and as we raise our energy to the sky. Together we will beat as ONE. Drums will be available to play if you don’t have one.

Drummm Yourself Free: Finding Your Groove!

Ever wondered what to play in a drum circle or music jam? Curious about how to get a groove started? Want to improve your musicality and play more dynamically in any style? In this playful rhythmic exploration we will…

  • Discover how to find & play around the pulse in any groove.
  • Learn some of the basic “universal rhythms” found across many cultures & drumming styles.
  • Develop skills for listening & responding to music “in the moment”.
  • Learn rhythm games & tricks for getting into the groove.
  • Explore how to express your own authentic “voice” on the drum.
  • Discover easy ways to “solo” or improvise within a groove.
  • Create a “dialogue” with other drummers in an ensemble.

Please bring your favorite drum and a hand-held percussion instrument (shaker, bell, claves, tambourine, etc.) if you have. There will be extras available. All levels are welcome!

Jennifer Berezan

The Healing Ecstasy of Sound, A Transformative Chant Circle

Experience chant and song as a form of medicine and a tool for healing and transformation. We will chant and sing for ourselves and each other to awaken joy, healing and help us connect to our own deepest wisdom. All levels

Jnana Gowan

Despacho Ceremony – Creating A Gratitude Bundle

Thursday we come together with our highest forms of thanks & gratitude to begin the Born to Drum Weekend together. Jnana Gowan, Healer & Ceremonialist will lead us in the creation of a despacho, or gratitude bundle. This is a contemporary rendition of ancient Andean ceremony. By using ritual offerings, or “foods” such as seeds, flowers, incense, crystals and more, we will make a beautiful mandala-like art piece as a gift to the natural world. As we create this “shamanic pizza” we offer prayers & thanks for the many gifts that we receive from the Spirit Realm. When prepared and offered with love and sincerity, the bundle restores balance & harmony to our lives. It is a beautiful celebratory ceremony and a powerful way to begin the drumming weekend.

Gong Meditation and Healing

Denise Solis & Julia C. Cepeda & Taller Bombalele

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba: Stories Through Songs

Resistance, expression, connecting to the spiritual

Percussion And Song

This class will focus on role of the songs in the tradition of Bomba by learning some of the traditional songs and contemporary songs and delving in what the role of the song is in the tradition. Participants will also learn about the more common rhythms that accompany the songs we will workshop. The focus will be on the songs and the percussion of Bomba. We encourage students to attend the second workshop as well, where we will add the dance piece, as it all fits together with intention. All Levels

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba: Your Story Through Dance

Your conversation with the Drum. Dance Class with Percussion support. This class will focus on the dynamics of the tradition of Bomba dance from the perspective of the lived experience of maestro Julia Cepeda, member of La Familia Cepeda and 6th generation Bomba dancer. Students will learn the basic steps and the structure and improvisation approach to Bomba dancing for two rhythms in the Bomba spectrum. For students who took the Percussion and Song class and prefer not to dance, they may join as percussion support for the class.  All Levels

Kanchan Dawn Hunter

The Plants, The Womb and The Earth Who Supports Us!

I will be focusing on plant medicine in the form of raspberry leaf, motherwort and tulsi as allies to aid in tonifying and nourishing the womb as a body as well as nourishing the spirit, mind and corporeal body. I would also like to tie in how the drum is linked to the matrifocal aspect and that it is the womb and heartbeat of all the instruments. Also, I would like to connect that plants love music and percussion and how we can use percussion to attune to the heartbeat of Earth, our heartbeats, and the vibrations of the plants who are our ancestors.

Healing Ourselves: Herbal Medicine for Stress & Anxiety

Larissa Montfort

West African Dundun Dance

Drum while you dance, dance while you drum. Dundun dance is an art form from the Baga women of northern Guinea. We will learn several stick patterns and dance simple moves around the drums. Build your coordination and technique. Dununba and sangban drums are preferred due to size. Kenkeni drums are also welcome. No lifting of your drum is required during the dance. There will be several loaner drums available. All levels

Mabiba Baegne

Dunun (Bass Drums) from Guinea

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 tree Dununs and bells. All Levels

Michaelle Goerlitz

Rio-Style Samba

Learn about the instruments that are played during Brazilian Carnaval, and how their patterns fit together: tamborim, agogo bell, caixa (snare drum), repinique and surdo! Some instruments will be provided. All Levels

Basic Skills: Hand Drum and Stick Technique

Learn technique that can help advance you to the next level of playing! We’ll focus on some rhythms that are commonly played in Latin and Brazilian styles, using two hands, one hand/one stick and two sticks. Some sticks will be provided. All Levels and Drums. Beginners

Nakeiltha (Nikki) Campbell

Basic and Intermediate Djembe With Dunun Support

Panamanian and Afro Colombian Rhythms with, Djembe Congas, Dununs.
We will share the historical context of traditional rhythms, and the fundamentals of each drum rhythmic pattern, songs, while utilizing the rhythms to build community and create positive social change. Beginners/Intermediate

Panamanian and Afro-Colombian Rhythms With, Djembe Congas, Dununs

We will share the historical context of traditional rhythms, and the fundamentals of each drum rhythmic pattern, songs, while utilizing the rhythms to build community and create positive social change.

Neena McNair

Native American Plains-Style Drum (Mother Drum)

We’ll be sharing songs and respect for the mother drum indigenous to the Great Plains. We’ll make drumsticks, while discussing origin of materials, and share songs, rhythms and dances specific to this particular drum. We’ll also explore reasons women are called to this style of drumming and find another community of nurturing support. Please come share your knowledge and gather some, too. All Levels

Odilia Galván Rodríguez

Soul Wwiting

Women drumming, singing, dancing and being out in nature helps us all get in touch with our inner consciousness. Through a series of simple meditative tools, writing prompts, and free writes you will come away from this workshop with at least one piece of writing and other work to reflect on or edit while also getting a chance to hear your voice and the voices of other sisters coming through in this wonderful natural setting. Come and share!

Ouida Lewis

History of Jamaican Traditional Rhythms

Exploring the basic Jamaican Folk Forms

Journey through Jamaica’s Simple & Compound duple rhythms


Rhythmic Journey from parish to Parish W Songs & Movement

All Levels

Peta Robles


The cajon is the most important percussive instrument in the coastal region of Peru and was originated in Afro-Peruvian music. This class will teach you the basic and most popular rhythms derived from the coastal region of Peru such as Festejos, Landos and Zamacuecas.

Q Wilson

Bridging The Divide – LGBT Cultural Competency

This workshop fosters increased awareness to develop a healthier and safer community where all members feel welcome to engage, increasing the level of comfort for all and improving communication between past, present, and future participants of the Born to Drum community.

Dialogues On Gender Identity

A facilitated conversation around the evolution of language and gender identity in our community.

Queen Hollins

Yoga Classes

7:00am – 8:00am
Friday, Saturday and Sunday

West African Dance Class

Queen teaches Nu Traditional Afrikan Dance Movement. She is visionary to a combination of ancient ancestral movements and modern concepts that fill each movement with intentions of physical, emotional balance and well being whereby self-empowerment via self expression unfolds harmony and the desired state of being. All Levels

Grandmother and Wise Elder Council

In this workshop we will create a Rites of Passage for entering into a new life cycle of wisdom and wonder.

Regina Wells

Warm, Stretch & 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. All Levels

Shakti Butler

Cracking the Codes to Healing Justice

Cracking the Codes asks that we understand and talk about the causes and consequences of systemic inequity. Collective engagement and leadership can illuminate pathways towards healing, equity and a more sustainable future. A multicultural future requires that we move towards collective impact that is imbued with understanding, equity and wisdom. We must move from individual feeling and thinking to the power of systemic change: hearts, minds and policy.

Sue Kaye – Suki

Basic Skills

This class will get you started on your journey as a hand drummer- conga, ngoma, djembe- Learn technique to get a good sound and to develop your ear for rhythm. We will also learn some drum songs to play as an ensemble from various traditions of the African diaspora.

Congolese Style Drum

We will study rhythms and songs from the Congo, which are the roots of a lot of Afro-Caribbean music. We’ll work on individual skills as well as playing in a group, and soloing! All levels welcome-check it out!!

Susana Arenas Pedroso

Afro-Cuban Folkloric Dance

Susana is a renowned dancer and professor of Afro-Cuban Folkloric styles. The dance and the music is beautiful and Susana is a very wonderful and fun teacher. The class will have live drumming led by Elizabeth Sayre and other drummers. All levels

Susu Pampanin & Fatima Lahlou

Middle Eastern Drums
Traditional Moroccan Rhythm and Song from Marrakesh-Daqa Marakichia
Moroccan Rhythm and Song-Andalusian

All levels classes

Vicki Noble

Transformational Healing Ritual

A special Community Healing Ritual with feminist healer Vicki Noble. Vicki has developed a ritual group form of vibrational healing that integrates drumming, chanting, and hands-on work in a participatory format, in which those in the community who are struggling with life-threatening physical ailments can lie down in the center and receive healing from everyone pres

Using a combination of voice, movement, drumming, and percussion, we will discover and move energy, individually and together, directing it as a force for healing toward the physical body, as well as the emotions, mind, and spirit. Within this framework of practical skills, we will practice the ancient shamanistic art of group ritual healing, wherein the laying-on of hands is performed on individuals by the collective of women.

This kind of intuitive and magical healing requires no initiation, no esoteric or elaborated forms, but asks only of each person that she learns to make herself available for the larger forces of healing to come through her. Individually or in partners, this sacred intention (the wish to alleviate suffering) is harnessed and directed for well-being. And collectively, when a group of women joins together in this desire to help, especially with the vibrational support of drumming and singing, the power is profound and oxytocin (the female “affiliative” hormone) is generated, lending itself to spontaneous healing of ailments and remission of dis-ease. This same power (what Vicki Noble has called “snake power”) can be directed toward the healing of families or community, and can even be utilized for helping transform and heal what’s happening on the planet.

Sacred Play With the Motherpeace Cards: How to Navigate Life In Joy and Trust

Note from Vicki Noble:
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.

Wanda Stewart


“Miss Wanda” teaches her students, “If you can grow a seed, you can grow yourself. If we can grow a garden, we can grow a community.” In this session, she will riff on about the life lessons she’s learned for self and through others while cultivating Obsidian Farm in Berkeley and several local school and community gardens. A natural storyteller, she will share about the transformation – individual and collective – that is possible while caring for our earth. It is an opportunity to discover the value in growing your own food and stewarding open spaces, to ask your plant and garden questions, and to be inspired to get your own hands dirty!