Leo teaching a group of 80 kids at Grant Alternative school in Ottawa

One of the great joys and challenges of Leo’s life is working with kids. The last few years have seen a large surge in drumming throughout North America as teachers and administrators look for new and creative ways to introduce music in classrooms where funding and resources have drastically been cut. Drumming truly involves children in a hands-on way, and helps them to comprehend and focus on the most essential of elements of music – RHYTHM. Take a look at some of the programs Leo offers and read the testimonials from the teachers and students he has had the privilege to work with on the tabs above.

Most information one might need regarding rates and how to book Leo can be found in the tabs above, however, if you have any difficulties, don't hesitate to Contact Us.

Leo has enough drums to supply a class of 30 children

Leo frequently gets asked to bring his collection of drums into a school setting and introduce the students to Hand Drumming. He has worked with kids of all ages and even special needs children. A typical one hour class will begin with an explanation of proper technique, followed by some fun rhythmic exercises. The class culminates with a chance to learn some simple traditional African music and a period for student questions.  Leo can see many classes over the course of a day, repeating this format. A great introduction for students to hand drums and drumming together.

The fee structure for these kinds of programs is as follows:

One class         $150
Two classes    $250
Three Classes $300
Whole Day      $400

Another option which is particularly good for the youngest children (Jr. Kindergarten to Grade 3) is the "Tickle Trunk" percussion presentation. For this session, Leo brings a huge assortment of percussion instruments from around the world in a large trunk, plays them, and explains the various means by which the sounds are produced. At the end of the show, children are invited for a hands-on session with the instruments.

One Hour "Tickle-Trunk" presentation - $75

P.S. Teachers often comment on how they are amazed at the fact that the youngest ones will stay absorbed in the presentation for a whole hour.


The concert after 18 weeks at Knoxdale Public School in Ottawa

More and more schools are looking at drumming programs to fulfill their music curriculum requirements. Drumming is an ideal solution in today’s educational environment where many schools simply don’t have the resources to run traditional music programs. It is fun and comparatively easy for most kids to achieve meaningful success. Teachers with little or no music training can quickly learn to conduct their classes doing simple rhythms.

In these situations, the possibilities for Leo’s involvement are varied and open. Some examples of programs he has done in the past include

  • An 18 week session where he saw each of 9 grade 5 and 6 classes for 9 hours, culminating in a performance for parents and peers in which each class presented their own traditional rhythmic ensemble.
  • A five week program in which children built flower pot drums under Leo’s direction and performed with them in a holiday celebration
  • A three week program in which grade 3 students are exposed to hand drumming and other types of percussion instruments.
  • A two day intensive program where 60 grade 5 students built sonotube drums using real goat skin and learned the basics of technique and ensemble playing. Their regular music teacher then continued with the music they had learned and created an end-of-year presentation with the student’s hand made drums.


In these situations, Leo prefers to do a cost breakdown based on the project itself. Typically, multi-day or week programs pay a reduced rate for the one day programs (up to 25% off). He is always amenable to finding a solution that will work for all involved. Please contact us with your inquiries


As a drum builder, Leo has been working with designs for simple drums made from sonotube, a type of sturdy cardboard tube used in the construction industry as a form to pour concrete footings and pillars. Leo can cut and prepare lengths of sonotube  suitable for making many types of drums, and with the help of a classroom teacher and some parent volunteers, direct a class in making simple drums. Younger children love building simple hand held frame drums while older kids enjoy snare drums and even hand drums with natural goat skins. The material cost of building these drums ranges from $3 to $15 per drum. Please contact us with your inquiries.

Photo examples of the various styles of Sonotube drums will be arriving soon.

Below are some quotes with Teachers Leo has worked with in the past. Leo would love any additions to these testimonials. To add your own, click here

"In addition to my own experience as one of Leo's lucky students, he taught a series of classes, both group and individual, for my special education students.  He was able to adjust his teaching style to my students' learning levels and styles, again resulting in a drumming experience to which they still refer, four-five years later.  Anyone, deciding to participate in one of Leo's classes or workshops is in for an absolutely delightful learning, rhythmic experience. – Ilse Turnsen, (retired), Ridgemont High School, Ottawa

Having Leo at our school has become an annual event that the kids and teachers look forward to.  Not only is he an accomplished musician and drum craftsman, he has an excellent rapport with the students. We look forward to his next visit."

Nathan Toft, Grade 5 teacher, A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School
Check Out www.portableradio.ca.

"Leo connects with the students on many levels.  He knows their need to have fun, so he engages them.  He knows they need to learn technique; he breaks it down so that they get it.  He knows they need to be creative, so he helps them try out new things.  He knows they need to feel good about their efforts, and because he values their attempts, his encouragement paves the way to their success."  

Calvin Climie, Grade 6 teacher, Knoxdale Public School