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Natural Awakenings North Central New Jersey

Experience the Healing Power of Hand Drumming: Master Classes Presented by Chuck Wood

May 01, 2013 09:47AM

The Music Den,1030 Route 10 West, in Randolph, offers weekly classes in hand drumming techniques with renowned percussionist Chuck Wood on Tuesday evenings from 6:45 to 7:45pm. Students do not need to bring a drum—one will be provided. In addition to the weekly classes in hand drumming techniques, the Music Den also holds monthly drum circles.

Wood, who has studied various percussion instruments with Baba Olatunji, M'BebaBangoura, Mohammed Camera, Yaya Nelson, Ladji Camera, Mar Gueye and Glen Webber, began his career as a solo performer before joining forces with guitarist Colin Allured. Together Chuck and Colin created a successful project known as Dhamaru, performing at yoga studios and retreats throughout the country.

Angela Marcone, education coordinator for the Music Den, describes her transformative experience at a drum circle last fall:

“As people gathered about the fire, the hosts began handing out various types of hand drums, indicating that we need only to ‘feel’ the music and join in at any time. Being a professional entertainer, I welcomed the idea to show off my musical talents and ‘grab’ the spotlight. What happened then was quite different from being the spotlight performer. A ‘master’ drummer was in charge. It was evident from the start as he quietly set the basic beat. Making eye contact with others in the circle, each one started to develop a rhythm that came from within their own feelings. Listening to each other, one by one each player began to add layers to the evolving event that was unfolding.”

Drumming has been shown to relieve depression and emphasize self-expression.  According to Ed Mikenas, a music educator and drumming and wellness leader, “Learning to express oneself through drumming with others allows a connectivity through a musical experience . . . Everyone is speaking, everyone is heard, and each person’s sound is an essential part of the whole.”

To register for a drumming class or attend a drum circle, call the Music Den at 973-927-5800 or sign up through the website at

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