These drummers can’t be beat

Lauren O'Brien
By Lauren O'Brien March 2, 2018 14:34


Participants play drums at White Feather Holistic Arts. (Photo by Lauren O’Brien)

By Lauren O’Brien

Windsorites are learning how to play African djembe drums.

On the last Tuesday of every month, classmates gather at White Feather Holistic Arts. The small business on Ottawa Street in Windsor sells natural healing products.

Owner Tracey Rogers organizes a variety of workshops and events. She has hosted drum classes, taught by Nelson Ing, for the past four and a half years.

Ing has been around drums his entire life. He studied and played Chinese temple drums with his father since he was eight.

He took up the djembe in college. While leaving a concert at Pine Knob in Detroit, he walked by a group of people playing drums. He sat down at a spare drum and began playing.

“I swear, it wasn’t more than 15 or 20 minutes but somehow, the rest of the world went two hours,” Ing said.

One of the reasons he said he is drawn to djembe drums is their simplicity and elegance. The traditional drum is made out of a wooden shell, a steel ring and goat skin stretched over the top.

The class covers theory, rhythm phrasing and technique. Ing also talks about the importance of posture, breathing and stretching. He said he teaches the classes to create a sense of community and happiness.

“We’re really just here to enjoy each other and the drums,” he said.

Before class, participant Bradley Wayde Jones said he had never played before.

Jones has focused on being a guitarist, a writer and a singer. He said the rhythm and coordination of drums did not come naturally to him.

“It’s easier when I close my eyes,” said Jones during the class. “When I close my eyes I see birds or fish migrating.”

Jones said he enjoyed the class and he could not stop smiling during the two hours.

“It wasn’t that it was funny. I think it just blew off that much stress,” he said.

White Feather Holistic Arts is hosting a Spring Equinox Drum Circle March 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Spring Equinox brings the energy of change, planting intentions and new life through the high energy drum circle. Pre-registration is necessary because space is limited. They ask for a donation of $10 with all proceeds going to the Women’s Welcome Center & Shelter.

Lauren O'Brien
By Lauren O'Brien March 2, 2018 14:34

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