Face to Face live classes will start from January 18, 2021
At Ray’s Footscray Classes you can learn both African Drumming and African Dance.
Costs are $120/$100 conc. for a 4 week course. Costs include access to video content of material taught.
Next Course Starts – Wednesday November 29
Wednesday nights 8pm to 9.30pm
Location: Footscray Primary School cnr Geelong Rd and Commercial Rd Footscray. (Enter through Staff car park in Commercial Rd)
Next Course Starts – Wednesday November 29
Wednesday nights 6.30pm – 7.30pm
Location: Footscray Primary School cnr Geelong Rd and Commercial Rd Footscray. ( Enter through Staff car park in Commercial Rd)
Next Course Starts – Tuesday December 5
Tuesday nights 8pm to 9pm
Location: Kindred Studios, Cnr Harris / Whitehall St, Yarraville, Vic
- Next Course Starts – Tuesday December 5
Tuesday Nights 6.30- 7.30
Location: Kindred Studios, Cnr Harris / Whitehall St, Yarraville
Ray Demonstrating Djembe technique
What can you expect from African Drumming classes with Ray?
Benefits for students
Ray Teaching His Beginner Class
Footscray Beginner Class
Ray runs his Beginner African Drumming and Advanced African Drumming classes on Tuesday nights and his Intermediate African Drumming class and African dance class on Wednesday nights.
His Beginner class is for new people who want to try out African Drumming for the first time and for those who may have played a few times before.
Ray will guide you through the basics of African drumming and show you how to get good sounds from the drums. You will enjoy learning about African Drumming, African Drumming rhythms and enjoy playing these rhythms with other people in a small group. You will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can improve under Ray’s expert guidance.
There is no need for previous experience and you don’t need a drum. Ray will provide you with one for no extra cost.
So just come along and find out why African Drumming classes can be so much fun.
Footscray Intermediate Class
After you have done a few of Ray’s Beginner classes and if you want to improve and be challenged you can join his Intermediate African Drumming Class, which is held on Wednesday nights. All those attending Ray’s African Drumming Intermediate classes have been playing for a year or more and have been through Ray’s Beginner classes or have had experience drumming somewhere else.
The intermediate class will build on the rhythms you have learnt already and Ray will teach you some variations to these rhythms. You will also learn new rhythms and start to learn how play some simple solo phrases. Some of the students in the intermediate class stay back after the class and drum for the African dance class, which is held straight after the drumming class on Wednesday nights.
Ray Explaining to Intermediate Class how the rhythm starts and finishes
Footscray Advanced Class
After drumming for a few years Ray invites some of his students to join his African Drumming Advanced class, which runs on Tuesday nights.
These classes look at more complicated African rhythms and rhythmic ideas. The advanced class also learns to play other types of African Drums like the Kpanlogo drum from Ghana, a variety of Stick drums where the sound is made by hitting the drum with a stick and they also learn other percussion instruments traditional shakers. Students in the Advanced class also learn to solo and learn more complicated rhythms while revising the rhythms they learnt in the Beginner and Intermediate classes.
Ray also introduces rhythms from Cuba and Brazil to this group of students and teaches them technique for the Conga drum and other Latin American drums. He also introduces his new concept, The Afro Lankan Drumming System to the advanced class.
Students get a taste of the drums and drumming styles of Sri Lanka and learn how to play the Afro Lankan rhythms using African Drums mainly, although some students try out these rhythms on Sri Lankan drums.
Ray’s advanced class also performs around Melbourne at community festivals and events.
Dance Class Performing
Footscray African Dance Class
Ray organizes African dance classes on Wednesday nights in Footscray. These classes are currently run by Kofi Nortey and Dan Hammond who are both from Ghana and teach both traditional and contemporary African dances from Ghana and other countries in West Africa.
African Dance classes are fun and a great way to keep fit. You can also learn some tricky dance steps and some technique as well as just having fun. Learn how to move really well so that you can be the envy of everyone on the dance floor. Kofi is an experienced teacher who has a lot of knowledge of traditional dance styles from across Africa. Danny is also an experienced teacher who has a more contemporary approach to the classes. The two teachers take it in turns to take the classes and bring variety to each course. Another great feature of this class is the live African drumming. Kofi and Danny will teach you how to listen to the drumming rhythms as you learn the dance steps and they will teach you how the drum calls interact with the dancers asking them to start, change or stop. All these signals coming from the drum.
More fun than the gym.
Ray’s African Dance Class Performing Fume Fume Dance accompanied by the Drumming Class
"I started drumming with Ray in Feb 2019, and have been looking forward to the Tuesday evening classes since then.
He balances between challenging us with new rhythms and also helps us to learn by breaking it down to parts that are easy to pick up.
Ray has a wicked sense of humour so there’s never a dull moment. He also takes a moment during classes wow us with his drumming mastery, which is always a treat!
What’s really special is that he’s a top human being who uses his art and generosity to bring people together in his gigs for students, while also helping out families in Sri Lanka and Ghana. So glad to have crossed paths with him!"
He's a cool guy – funny, encouraging – and is really attentive to the technique of each individual.
I've learned so much from him already and it's only been a couple of months. Highly recommended teacher, I feel very lucky to be learning with him."
"Joining Ray’s drumming class has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Over the past year the Brunswick drumming class has become an important part of my week.
Ray’s passion for teaching and his mastery of rhythm, along with that of his teaching staff, is truly inspirational.
Not only has he helped build confidence in my evolving drumming skills, but a confidence that extends to the rest of my life. Thank you Ray for creating such a special community, a feeling of camaraderie, that I am honoured to be a part of."
"I had a good friend ask me to attend his drumming concert last year. I was excited to attend the concert to see how he was doing in his classes. I was so blown away when I saw the concert. Turns out this teacher Ray doesn't just teach djembe classes, looks like he fosters a community of people to share with themselves and others through rhythm and dance.
I was so happy seeing everyone perform I just couldn't stop smiling. I thought, this Ray guy, I want to learn from him too. So I signed up for his drum classes the following year.
Turns out I was right, Ray is a master teacher of djembe and rhythms, but he's also a master of letting you know how to see the most within yourself and having confidence to improve. Not just with the drum, but also within yourself.
A great mentor with a big heart. You can tell a great teacher by the community they foster and love, with patience and sharing. I found mine."
"If you're a music lover this is the drumming class for you.
You won't just cover African rhythms and techniques, you'll also touch on Sri Lankan, Cuban, Brazilian and more. Great teachers and supportive groups."
"I've been drumming here for a few months now. The classes are great, we learn a lot about music from different parts of (mostly West) Africa and play the djembe as well as other African percussion instruments.
Ray is a very experienced and knowledgeable teacher and there's a great group of students too. We always have fun in our classes.