Footscray classes

At Ray’s Footscray Classes you can learn both African Drumming and African Dance.

Ray Demonstrating Djembe technique

What can you expect from African Drumming classes with Ray?

  • High quality, personalised teaching
  • Learn great technique on a range of percussion instruments
  • Learn how to hear, play and feel rhythms
  • Learn a number of West African and Afro Cuban rhythms and their accompanying parts
  • Experience of how rhythms relate to dance and songs
  • Many opportunities to learn perform and extend yourself at your own pace
  • Ray’s technical expertise and 30 yrs of experience in different genres of music
  • Very reasonable prices (classes are $25/$20con)

Benefits for students

  • Learn from one of Australia’s most experienced and respected musicians.
  • Have fun learning in a non competitive environment.
  • Challenge yourself to improve and learn more about the rhythms, songs and culture of the music being played and the goal of stepping up to an intermediate class as you improve and gain more experience.

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.

Intermediate Class

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