Beat of Your Own Drum

Program Sponsor: Slaight Family Foundation
Drumming Resources
VIBE Arts’ Beat of Your Own Drum program provides a unique opportunity for youth to create culturally diverse, sustainable and authentic music resources that stay within their community.

Over the course of several weeks, students work with a Master drum-maker or Indigenous Elder to build a set of West African Djembes and Djuns, or a set of Aboriginal Hand Drums. The programs’ intention is to develop Non-western music resources in Indigenous and African Arts that are produced by and for youth. The Drums and accompanying Music Education form the basis of innovative arts programming that includes socio-cultural awareness and provokes authentic and embodied learning.

As the program progresses students work with experienced Arts Educators to generate original music and choreography that they perform as a means of sharing learnings with peer and public audiences. The program is further enhanced by additional music lessons and arts involvement the following year as well as professional development resources, community contacts and accompanying lessons and units with cross curriculum links for teachers.

African Drumming Classes

Storage and Maintenance

  • The safest way to carry a drum is to hold it in front of you and hug it with both arms.
  • Handle with care, as if carrying a baby.
  • Bags are recommended for long-term care and transport. These do not have to be fancy and can be made from recycled materials such as a large burlap coffee bags.
  • Drums are sensitive to temperature and humidity. It is best to store them in a dry room of average temperature (21° Celsius/70° Fahrenheit). It is sometimes recommended to have a humidifier in the room. Do not keep near a furnace or in a damp or cold storage room.
  • If space restrictions force you to stack the drums then stack them face to face with the skins touching. It is also okay to stack them horizontally with their skins facing out.
  • It is important to respect the drums. Never use a drum as a table or as a stool. Never rest your feet on a drum.
  • Do not play the drums aggressively. Banging on a drum will hurt your hands and may damage the skin.
  • The drums need to be tuned every so often. A step-by-step guide to tuning djembes can be found on our website at ???
  • Pay attention to the wood, watching for cracks and chips. Repairing these in the early stages will prevent further damage.
  • Pay attention to the skins, looking for tears, cracks, peeling. Skins can be replaced if needed.

The following drummers can be contacted for repairs to drum skins and shells.

African Drums & Art Crafts →
Roots & Culture →
Barrington Hibbert 647-833-5568, [email protected]

Click here to print Storage and Maintenance techniques.


Muhtadi International Dumming Festival
Mississauga Dum & Dance Festival
TDSB Cluster Schools Drumming Festival

Drumming Resources

African Drums and Art Crafts
Saikou Saho
618 Dundas Street West (Kensingon Market), Toronto
Shaw Percussion/Orion Drums
Phil Shaw
5258 Old Homestead Rd., Sutton
[email protected]
Soul Drums
Doug Sole
5295 Yonge Street (Yonge & Finch), Toronto
416-225-5295 or 1-800-305-SOUL
[email protected]
Woodshed Percussion
Andy Morris
Toronto (Lansdowne & Bloor)
[email protected]
Roots and Culture
Jean-Paul Mohammed
Juliet Hess
Juliet Hess
[email protected]