Having always had an interest in belly dancing and Middle Eastern music, I was curious to try out a drumming class in Middle Eastern percussion.
Sydney is very lucky to have Master percussionist Atif Badria, who is now teaching weekly drumming classes with the darbuka at The Redfern Community Centre.
Zeina Issa, the mastermind behind Modern and Classical Arabic Music Group orchestrated Atif's darbuka classes. MACAM has successfully brought phenomal Arabic singers, percussionists and musicians to the Sydney music scene. Like MACAM's Facebook Page to keep up with all things Arabic music happening in Sydney.
Atif is a warm and friendly teacher who is very approachable. He opened the class by telling us that the Darbuka is played throughout the Arabic, North African and Mediterranean world, in Turkey, Greece, Morocco and the Arab countries.
The class was a mix of students of all ages, of all skill levels. For some, it was the first time they'd held a drum, others were at a higher skill level. The energy in the room was very accepting and the students were eager to learn and practice with the darbuka.
The class ended on a high note as several of the more advanced drummers, along with Atif, played a complex gorgeous Middle Eastern drum rhythm making music that the rest of us only hope we can aspire to.
Atif says that, "The students are able to reach a high level of playing Middle Eastern percussion and develop a special technique if they are serious about their exercises and practice".
I know I will be back for another darbuka drumming session. The classes are running until the 28th of June.
You can book in for a half of the term or pay by class. Go here to book and learn more about the classes.
Either way it is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the fantastic music and rich cultural heritage of the Middle East.