Drumming workshop Sat.

No experience, or instrument, needed; drums will be provided

Photo submitted by Lawrence Greene Lawrence Greene takes part in a previous drumming circle in Marietta. This Saturday, he’ll offer a workshop at the Riverside Artists Gallery.

By Kate York

The Marietta Times


One of the best parts of starting an impromptu drumming circle or leading a drumming workshop, says instructor Lawrence Greene, is seeing the childlike enthusiasm grown men and women quickly display.

“People don’t really get to play and express themselves musically very often so that comes out,” said Greene. “And drums are the easiest thing for people to play with no experience. If we handed out a bunch of violins to people, it wouldn’t sound as nice.”

Greene, of Athens, will be in Marietta Saturday for a drumming workshop at the Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 St. From 1 to 3 p.m. people of any experience level and any age will have the chance to play together. The workshop will focus on traditional West African rhythms. The main drums used will be djembes, skin-covered goblet drums played with the bare hands, but djun djun and bass drums will also be used.

Those who have their own drums are encouraged to bring them, but for those who don’t they will be provided.

“It should be a fun workshop,” said gallery member Betsy Cook. “He’s a very friendly person, very open and full of energy. He’ll be dancing around and getting everyone involved.”

Greene and his group, Ugata (Underground African Themed Arts) have been part of events at the gallery before, including for First Fridays events.

Cook said the workshops are likely to become a regular occurrence as long as there’s interest.

“We’re setting up more dates,” she said.

Greene said Satuday’s workshop will incorporate conversations focused on Martin Luther King Jr. ahead of Monday’s holiday recognizing the Civil Rights leader.

“I use drumming as cultural outreach,” he said. “I started the whole drumming program in Athens with the purpose of crossing cultural lines and having it be an active experience rather than listening to a lecture.”

In between the games, laughing and rhythmic exercises will be education, Greene said.

“I’m trying to spread these cultural elements around the Mid-Ohio Valley,” he said. “In African societies, it brings them together. What I really want to do in society is bring people together.”

If you go

¯ What: Drumming workshop with Lawrence Greene.

¯ When: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday.

¯ Where: Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 Second St.

¯ Who: Open to all ages.

¯ Cost: $12 per person.

¯ For reservations: Call 740-376-0797.