Take Drums to Heart

Take Drums to Heart brings women master drummers from diverse cultures into schools with low-income youth, youth at risk, foster homes, and women’s programs such as women’s shelters to present cultural programs and drumming workshops. These inspiring women are the Women Drummers International (WDI) Born To Drum Faculty members

The drum is dynamic, spiritual, healing, and life-changing. It brings people of every culture together in cooperative, communal music making.

The women we will bring into the program are part of our WDI Born To Drum faculty. BTD is an international Women’s Drum camp, entering its sixth year of very successful camps. This faculty comes from all over the world: Congo, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Venezuela, Cuba, Native American, Middle East, African American, Asia. All these women on faculty have been playing and teaching their traditional drums for over 30 years. They all have extensive experience working with the target communities. Almost all of them had to overcome discrimination and hardship to pursue their dream.

We share the profound message of the drum by placing these women in schools and homes where they can inspire and teach our young people and women who are isolated.

This is an empowerment based program with therapeutic value. A cooperative communal atmosphere is created in the process of learning to drum. In the circle every person is valued, every person is an important part of the whole. Drumming is very healing as it helps to release emotions. It is a profound therapy that individuals can do in a group without having to “tell” their whole story. Drumming is music making – it brings people together in a very positive way.

It has been proven that drumming can reach students that are high risk. It gives these students an activity that can raise their self-esteem. Also, learning drum patterns have been proven to help people with learning disabilities as it opens neural pathways. In this way, drumming can contribute to the student’s success in other learning environments such as math, reading, and with coordination.

Take Drums to Heart is funded in part by a grant from the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation.

Thank you to Sylvia Ruggiero, Neena McNair, and Jan Smith for their generous donations of drums for our programs.  If you would like to donate a drum, contact us to make arrangements. We especially need djembes, dununs, and Brazilian instruments.

You can help expand and deepen this program by making a donation to Women Drummers International that is targeted to Take Drums to Heart. Just write ‘Take Drums to Heart’ in the Memo section of your check or in the space provided by Paypal.

Checks can be made to Women Drummers International and sent to WDI at PO Box 3715, Oakland, CA 94609.

Or you can donate online here using a credit card or bank account.


Women Drummers International is a 501 (C) (3) tax exempt organization. Your donation is fully tax deductible.