Workshops & Group Classes

You can hire Embodying Rhythm to bring lively rhythm, percussion, and drum workshops, marimba ensemble workshops, embodiment dance practice, facilitated drum circles, and more to your next event.

A rhythmic vocalization practe, solkattu, is one of the rhythm and drum workshops offered by Embodying Rhythm.

  • Workshops – Group learning, general or specialized, pick one listed, combine them, or help create a workshop formatted to specifically fit your event.
  • Kids Playshops – Workshops geared for kids (or an all-ages group), informal, fun and playful.
  • Classes –  Ongoing series of group lessons for schools, community centers, educational organizations, or private entities.
  • In-School Musical Enrichment Assemblies – Inspire students with music.
  • In-School Marimba Residencies – Playing music in an ensemble utilizes the whole student’s capacity in ways that other school activities cannot and focuses on communication and team building.
  • Lectures – Topics to suit your event from the field and experience of an avid professional percussive enthusiast.
  • Consulting and Technical Help – Advice and tech support from a long time professional drummer and percussionist.

Rhythm, Percussion, Marimba Ensemble, Embodiment Dance and Drum Workshops^

All workshops are a hands on, ear-opening percussive learning experience. All workshops can be geared for kids of all ages, students of all kinds, adults, community members, etc… All workshops can be arranged for different lengths of time, and are all great team-building workshops for businesses and classes.

Workshops offered:

    • Embodying Rhythm – helping us get the universal rhythms fully integrated into our bodies so we feel it from the inside out.
    • Marimba Ensemble – a super fun and accessible way to play music together in a group on beautiful African marimbas. more
    • Introduction to Percussion – a demonstration and hands-on experience of a wide variety of percussion instruments and drums from around the world.
    • Hand Drumming – traditional and modern approaches to playing hand drums in a group setting.
    • Auxiliary Percussion – traditional and modern approaches to playing hand-held percussion instruments from Europe and South America in a group setting.
    • Mediterranean, Balkan, and Middle Eastern Drumming – as it sounds.
    • Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and South American Percussion – as it sounds.
    • Solkattu – a traditional way of learning rhythms through vocalizations of nonsense syllables stemming from southern India. Includes stepping and hand clapping patterns along with the vocalizations for a full immersion into a rhythmic experience. more
    • Drumset as an interdependent full body meditation – how to gain “control” over playing a four-limbed instrument.
    • Drumset: its history, playing styles, and techniques – from it’s beginnings in New Orleans to the applications of today.
    • Drumming, Percussion, and Rhythm instruments from around the World – a brief yet extensive overview.
    • Drum Circle Primer and Team Building Rhythm Games– lightly facilitated drum and percussion jam where everyone’s “voice” is heard.
    • Rhythm Theory – examining the roots of rhythm through pulse, subdivisions, syncopation, poly-rhythms, and more.
    • Rhythm for singer-songwriters – for those wanting support in adding rhythm to their songs, their playing, or their ensemble.
    • Open Dance Space – free movement (lightly facilitated by Arlyn) to live music (with David and friends).


Fun, informal, engaging, and playful group rhythm games and activities usually geared for kids (can be formatted to fit a group with any range of ages and experience levels). A rhythm playshop is a participatory class room, community, or team building event. The main goal for these playshops being to provide a fun participatory musical experience leaving the kids and other participants with the visceral sensation that learning and playing music with others is an enjoyable and worthwhile creative activity. Remembering that ‘play’ is the verb always used for making music is of utmost importance here.


Frame Drums are one of the instruments that can be the center of a drum workshop or group class.David teaches group rhythm classes at his teaching studio in Hotchkiss, Colorado as well as at schools, private homes, community centers, and other venues. Classes built to suit each group and situation, but usually involve at least one of the following topics; marimbas, solkattu, drums, percussion, improvisation, groovability, ethno-musicology, or rhythm theory.

In-School Musical Enrichment Assemblies^

Marimba Project at K-8These assemblies can be customized to your group or school.
This fun and upbeat in-school assembly is designed to inspire students with music. Six local professional musicians and music teachers, led by David Alderdice, will demonstrate the fun of playing in a music ensemble with a full funky world-beat marimba band. The program will include lively marimba ensemble music stemming mainly from South African and South American cultures. If you are not familiar with marimbas, think big (sometimes really big) beautiful sounding wooden xylophones. Our marimba ensemble consists of 2 sopranos, an alto, a tenor, a baritone, and a (really big) bass marimba providing a four and a half octave range. This style of marimba originated in Zimbabwe. We sometimes accompany our marimbas with tasty percussion or drumset. The musicians will demonstrate and discuss how music works, the necessity of working together as team, and the awareness of how all the parts interact with each other and together create the music. They will share information about the different roles within music (rhythm, melody, and harmony) and, time permitting, will talk about and/or demonstrate the different roles that music has taken historically (entertainment, healing, storytelling, ceremonial, expressive, intimidative, communicative, etc..) as well as answer related questions from the students. The musicians will also share with the students information about other musical instruments (besides the marimbas), life as a musician, music as an occupation, and the opportunities we have for inspired students to learn, explore, and enjoy music.

In-School Marimba Residencies^

marimbas in the schoolsFifteen students at a time will enjoy a participatory marimba ensemble session each day of the residency. The students will also have the option to be a part of an after-school class for those who would like more playing time and an extra musical challenge. At the end of the residency all the classes and after-school groups will share what they’ve learned in a performance for parents, teachers, other students, and community members. The parents, teachers, and school administration will get an opportunity to play as well.

spring flingThe North Fork Valley Embodying Rhythm Marimba Project’s mission is to create a joyful, safe, and creative environment for students of all ages (mainly 9+) to delve deeper into their personal relationship with rhythm, music, themselves, and their community. We facilitate musical experiences to help participants acquire a visceral memory that learning music and playing music is fun, uplifting, and inspiring. All instruments and materials will be provided.

marimbaThe marimba residencies allow students to learn to play music together and work together for the common good in a non-competitive, fun, engaging, and educational group activity. Playing music in an ensemble utilizes the whole student’s capacity in ways that other school activities cannot and focuses on communication and team building. The marimba experience would not just be offered to current music students, all students in the grade levels offered would get the chance to participate. There is a fast return on the student’s time investment because the basic sounds are easy to achieve instantly; the musical complexity comes with rhythmic syncopation, the layering of the parts, the implied music theory, the group feel, and the human interaction and cooperation behind it all. Much of the music we teach on the marimba is traditional music of the southern regions of Africa. We also teach improvisational techniques, contemporary melodies, and original compositions. All the participants involved will get to perform the new fun music that they’ve learned during the residency together, sharing their newfound love of working together as a team playing marimba music with their school-mates, friends, and teachers.


Historical, fun, informative, usually with examples and sometimes participatory.  Sample topics include…

      • Tracing the Clave – Africa to New Orleans
      • History of the Drumset – New Orleans to the World
      • Rhythm from it’s Roots – Indian and African rhythmic traditions
      • Percussion of the World – Similarities and differences

Consulting and Technical Help^

David can try and answer any drum, percussion, rhythm, or music related questions you might have. He can also offer technical assistance related to drums and percussion.