Leo Leading a community workshop at Britania Park in June 2004

Since 2000 Leo has done drumming workshops for an incredibly wide variety of groups throughout the national capital region. Of course many schools have had him in, but also seniors residences, company Annual General Meetings,  birthday parties, government employee retreats, children’s treatments centres, day camps, and music festivals just to name a few. The fact that he can supply enough hand drums for 30 people and get them playing music together within a few minutes makes him a welcome and fresh addition to any group activity. For particularly large events, Leo can also supply enough smaller percussion instruments for an additional 70 people to participate in the fun, creating a 100 member percussion symphony.

Please explore the many facets of Leo's workshop programs with the tabs above to find the workshop that will best suit your needs.


Leo setting up for a workshop with OXFAM Canada

Drumming is great stress relief - both a release of tension and an invigorating experience. Group Drumming (A Drum Circle) can be a great way to focus co-workers on a difficult task at hand, or to reward members of an organization for their accomplishments, or to even diversify the routine of the average conference. Beyond all this, it breaks down barriers between people and can be a tremendous amount of fun.

The many elements that combine to make successful drum circles are the same elements that make up any healthy workplace community. Some of the metaphors that can be drawn include:

COMMUNICATION - We each have a voice, but must listen to those around us for our voice to be in harmony. Evidence that people came together to drum predates the first evidence of written language. In a world of teleconferences, email, cell phones and faxes, we must take time out to connect on the most primal level.

MUTUAL RESPECT- A circle has no beginning or end, no sides or corners. Everyone in a circle is on equal
footing. Even those who feel too shy, or inhibited by their status will be involved. Everyone is encouraged to participate - and by the sheer power of the music will have a hard time resisting!

TEAMWORK - Each person has a part to play in the group, each group has a voice, The combined voices
create a symphony of sound. No person’s part is any more important than another’s - everyone contributes to the success of the circle.

When Leo facilitates a workshop of this nature, he doesn't feel that it is necessary to overtly make parallels between the music and the goals of the workplace. He tries rather to take some time at the end of the session to ask participants to make and share their own conclusions and take what they need individually from the experience.

The cost to have Leo come join your conference, retreat or average work day is $400 for up to a 1 hour session.
An increase in cost will be negotiated if

    1. You would like longer than one hour
    2. You have more than 30 participants
    3. You are outside of the National Capital region.

If you would like more information on what a drum circle is, please read the information on the "Drum Circle Facilitation" tab above.

Please Contact Us for booking. You won't regret it!

The Candian Women's Soccer team
Playing Treefrog Percussion Djembes

The workshops Leo does for community organisations are similar to corporate workshops with the exception of cost. These workshops are $150 to $200 per hour depending on circumstances. Leo has done workshops like this in the past for seniors residences, day camps, the Ottawa Children's Treatment Centre, Boys and Girls club, community fun days and many others. For any requests for school programs, visit the Teaching section of the site.

Contact us for booking or other inquiries.

For more detailed inforamtion on what these sessions entail, click on the "Corporate" tab above.

Leo facilitating a drum circle with nearly 100 participants at Blue Skies Music Festival 2007  

A DRUM CIRCLE is a community of people who create spontaneous, living music with percussion instruments of any description. Using the most basic component of music - rhythm - participants create ribbons of sound that weave a sonic tapestry. Sometimes the rhythms are ceremonial, passed down through oral traditions from one generation to the next, other times the rhythms come from the wellspring of creativity we all possess.

A facilitator to the circle is often a welcome addition. Acting in equal parts Conductor, Coach and Ring Leader, the Facilitator gently directs and unifies the experience to ensure that everyone is working in harmony.

Leo adores facilitating Drum Circles and has a large repertoire of techniques and tools to keep the music fresh and participants engaged. He will gladly join a pre-established community for a session, or even lead a session of folks without any experience whatsoever. This last option is especially popular for Music Festivals, Fundraising Walks, or other public events.

Please Contact Us for booking or other details. For more information on the "mechanics" of a drum circle, see below.

"When I facilitate a large Drum Circle of inexperienced players, the first thing I do is get people loosened up and used to the idea of being part of a unified pulse. I ask them to stand and form a circle around me, then ask them to walk in a simple step with me, everyone together in unison. Next I begin teaching them rhythms the way they have been taught for millennia, orally from one person to the next. I verbalize the rhythm for a particular instrument then get people to say it back to me, all the while keeping up the pulse with our feet. This ends up being a very quick way of learning the rhythms we will play.

" In the drum circle, we use five types of instruments, shakers, bells, claves (A type of rhythm stick), guiros (a hollow instrument scraped with a stick), and of course drums. Those who play the drums are seated on chairs in an inner circle while everyone else stands in an outer circle behind. It works well if there is a particular group that can be invited to try the drums first, (i.e. all the senior citizens, all the children), and when they are seated with drums in front on them everyone else receives one of the smaller hand percussion instruments. I start everyone out on their respective parts and in a few moments we are creating a rhythmic symphony. When we stop, I encourage a round of applause for everyone and request that those people who were just drumming go to the outer circle and invite someone to take their place in the inner circle.

Leo leading a community fun day kids workshop

Leo is delighted to share his love and knowledge of Hand Drumming at your celebration. In Africa, no celebration goes by with drumming, and he heartily feels the same should be the case here. He has led workshops at birthdays of adults, teenagers and children, as well as weddings and even a stagette party!

Leo will either do a facilitated drum circle or instructional time for kids or adults. A room or sheltered outdoor space with large enough to seat all participants in a circle will be required. Typical birthday parties will be $150. Adult supervision of young children is required.

An increase in cost will be negotiated if

    1. You would like longer than one hour
    2. You have more than 30 participants (or more than 15 children at kids parties)
    3. You are outside of the National Capital region.

Contact Us for booking or more information.

Leo teaching a drum Maintenance workshop at Blue Skies music festival 2004
Below are some quotes with folks Leo has worked with in the past. Leo would love any additions to these testimonials. To add your own, click here

"In the fall of 2006 I attended at 10 week intro to Djembe drumming course taught by Leo Brooks.
I was amazed at what I could do after Leo's instruction of the various hand positions and gradual exposure to more complex rythms. This was a fun stress release and I eagerly looked forward to each session.

"I subsequently booked Leo for a surprise team building event for my co-workers. They had great fun and were impressed with the blending of several rhythms that they learned in such a short time. It was a "completely different" experience for all and we learned that having no musical knowledge was not deterrent to learning hand drumming."
- Bob Lance, Nortel Networks

"I attended a Djembe drumming team-building session, conducted  by Leo for my  department  members at Nortel  Networks. We  had a  great  time, the  session was  informative, and  engaging. Leo had the  ability  to include  everyone....no matter  their  musical ability.  By the  end  of the  session our group  of  novices  was  drumming in-time, together, and  with some  semblance  of rhythm. No  small  feat!
Thanks  for  the  fun time  Leo!"
- Andrew Smith, Protel Loadbuild, Nortel Networks