The DrumConnection Teacher Training Program is designed to educate, train and certify qualified drummers to teach West African Style Hand Drumming classes. This program is for people who…
• are interested in expanding their drumming activities to include teaching
• want to improve their drumming and performance skills more quickly
• are already drumming at a high level and want an intensive, effective and longer-term drumming experience.
There are 4 levels in the Teacher Training Program. The curriculum for each program level prepares the trainee to teach a different class level.
• Level 1 – Trains qualified students to teach Beginner Hand Drumming classes
• Level 2 – Trains graduates of the Level 1 Teacher Training Program to teach Beyond Beginner Hand Drumming classes
• Level 3 – Trains graduates of the Level 1 and 2 Teacher Training Program to teach Intermediate Hand Drumming classes
• Level 4 – Trains graduates of the Level 1-3 Teacher Training Program to teach Advanced Hand Drumming classes
The Level 1 (Beginner) program is the foundation of the Teacher Training Program. Successful completion of the Level 1 program is a prerequisite for all other levels in the Teacher Training Program. Each successive level builds on the material in previous levels.
Additional workshops and courses (Dunun Teacher Training, Technique Class Teaching, Solos Teaching, Teaching Drumming to Kids, Healing Drum Teaching, etc.) will also be offered as Continuing Education opportunities for Teacher Training Program participants.
These courses supplement the material in the Teacher Training Program, expand the trainee’s abilities and support a focus on specialized drumming and teaching skills.
Upon the successful completion of each level’s curriculum, the trainee may opt to take the Certification exam for that level, although Certification is not mandatory. Trainees can take the Certification exam as many times as they like until they pass.
While the Teacher Training Program focuses on preparing trainees to teach drumming classes, students who do not intend to teach but wish to deepen their drumming skills will find this intensive program very helpful in their development as drummers. Teaching drumming not only supports and develops the hand drumming community, it also greatly improves the teacher’s own drumming and performance skills. Teaching is also an excellent learning technique for drummers of all levels.
TDC Teacher Certification
Successful completion of each level of the Teacher Training Program is intended to lead to the trainee becoming certified to teach TDC Hand Drumming classes at the level they have trained for. The Certificate acts as both a diploma for the program level the trainee has completed and as a teaching credential.
To be certified as a TDC Drum Teacher, the trainee must fulfill the requirements for the level of training they are pursuing and successfully pass the Certification exam for that level. Upon passing the exam, the trainee will receive a Certificate of Completion from The DrumConnection that they can display and a wallet card. They will also be listed in The DrumConnection’s Faculty Directory on the DrumConnection Web site, and can promote themselves as a “Certified Hand Drumming Teacher”.
Trainees may become certified at a level beyond the one they would like to teach for their own drumming growth, and to support future teaching and playing possibilities. Trainees may schedule the Certification exam any time after the 3-month minimum enrollment period. If a trainee does not pass the exam, they may continue in the program and reschedule a second exam at a later date.
The Certification exam will test a trainee’s ability to understand and teach the following:
• Hand drumming technique
• Tuning/drum care
• All of the rhythms and parts in the curriculum for that level – the trainee must be able to play all parts of each rhythm without referring to the book
• The basic history, culture and background on drumming and rhythms appropriate to the level
By the time of the Certification exam, the trainee must also have completed the following: • Actively assist in at least 8 classes or workshops (as many as 32 classes) at the trainee’s program level
• Lead at least 4 warm-ups (approximately 5-15 minutes each)
• Co-teach at least 2 classes
• Teach a full 1 1/2 hour class solo
TDC certification expires annually. A certified TDC Teacher is required to have 2 private lessons a year in order to renew their certification. This requirement ensures the teacher has up to date information about rhythms, drumming technique and other aspects of drumming, and can accurately convey this information to students.
The material covered in these private lessons may include rhythm reviews, teaching issues, TDC advancement, technique overview and suggestions for improvement for personal and professional development.
Qualifications for the Teacher Training Program
To qualify to enter the Teacher Training Program, a student must:
• Be currently enrolled as a TDC student in a class other than a Beginner Hand Drumming course, or receive the Executive Director’s approval to enter the program.
• Complete and sign the Teacher Training Program Enrollment Form and pay the first month program tuition of $225.
• Complete an entrance interview with the Executive Director.
Teacher Training Program Requirements
Once enrolled in the program, the trainee must:
• Attend a regular TDC drum class as a student throughout the duration of the program (absences must be made up by the end of the current semester)
• Attend, observe and assist in classes at the trainee’s program level as requested
• Teach mini-private lessons to Beginner drumming students (10 MPLs minimum at 10 minutes each)
• Attend weekly private lessons with Alan Tauber or other qualified instructor.
• Attend TDC workshops to learn, assist and teach specific drumming skills and rhythms
• Attend scheduled teacher meetings
Failure to meet the requirements for ongoing, active program participation may result in the trainee entering a one-month probation period or being asked to leave the program.
Once a trainee has completed a program level and is certified to teach at that level, they must commit to teaching hand drumming classes for TDC for one year (4 semesters) before progressing to the next level in the program.
This required teaching experience acts as a “teaching apprenticeship”, and is necessary to give the new teacher valuable practice with their teaching skills in a classroom setting. Teachers learn as much while teaching their classes as they do while taking classes and private lessons in the Teacher Training Program.
New teachers will continue to receive training and support from TDC faculty and staff during their required teaching year.
Trainees must enroll in the Teacher Training Program for a minimum of 3 months at each level, and they may continue in the program for up to a year. The approval of the Executive Director is required in order to remain in the program at the same level beyond a year. When a trainee has successfully completed all of the requirements for the level they are enrolled in, they may take the Certification exam for that level.
The tuition for the Teacher Training Program is $225 a month. This fee covers all TDC workshops, classes and private lessons taken by the trainee during the month. The Teacher Training Program fee does not cover workshops taught by non-TDC teachers. Trainees will instead receive a 10% discount on those workshops.
Tuition payments are due on the first day of each month unless other arrangements have been made. Delinquent tuition payments may result in probation or expulsion from the program. Tuition may be paid by check or credit card. Automatic credit card payments may be arranged with the TDC office. Contact Pam Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the TDC office at 781-316-8068 to make financial arrangements as needed.
Teaching TDC Classes
Trainees may begin teaching classes before completing certification at the Executive Director’s discretion. Trainees are expected to teach classes as part of their learning experience in the Teacher Training Program, and are not paid for teaching. Teachers who have successfully taken the Certification exam for their training level are eligible to be paid for teaching TDC classes. Teachers are paid by check upon the successful completion of the current semester of classes.
Should a trainee need to interrupt their enrollment in the program, a written notice to Alan Tauber, the TDC Executive Director, is required. Trainees may suspend their enrollment for up to one year without penalty. They may return to the program pick up where they left off and schedule the Certification exam for their level once the requirements for that level have been met.
DrumConnection 177 Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02474 ph: (001) 781-316-8068
5.0 star rating Yelp!
This place should be called, "percussion heaven". You can find every sort of percussion instrument and accessory here, all in one place. The staff is very friendly, knowledgable and helpful. They have professional djembes and dunun . They also sponsor local drum circles and have drum classes with the very talented owner as well as master drummers from around the globe. They also offer a wide variety of CD's. One of the best shops ever!
San Rafael, CA
5.0 star rating
5.0 star rating 2/9/2017
I was thrilled to find that this store doesn't just have hand drums, but is also well-stocked with hardware and parts for rock drum kits. And if they don't stock something you need, they'll order it for you or point you in the right direction.
Alan, the owner, is extremely knowledgeable and helpful if I have questions or need advice. When I came in last year wanting to restore my vintage kit, I had no idea where to start, and Alan helped me through the entire process, from cleaning, de-rusting, to finding missing parts. Whenever I have a problem with my kit or something breaks, I always go to Alan first (it's a good idea to call the store to see when he's working!) Often he'll find a way to fix it without having to purchase new parts.
Definitely recommend this gem over bigger places like Guitar Center.
5.0 star rating
Jan 22, 2017
"Hi Alan, Eddie & I LOVED Nancy's classes. We stopped going because it was dark & cold & late & it was the only time we could both make it ( I work nites ) but we plan to resume classes probably in the spring. I miss it. Rochelle"
5.0 star rating
Purchased beautiful instruments...
I recommend the workshops to all my college student studying world music in the classroom. We've also purchased beautiful instruments I use in my teaching. People marvel at their sound and touch.
5.0 star rating
So much fun...
Participating in a beginners drumming series was so much fun, and I was surprised at what they were able to teach us! We plan to go back as soon as our schedule allow a steady attendance.
5.0 star rating
Just bought my 3rd instrument from this store. Always a pleasure to do business with DrumConnection, and home to a great community of drummers.
5.0 star rating
Honest, original voice...
Way back in 2011, I wrote and published a feature story about Alan Tauber and DrumConnection. Read it at YourArlington
Nothing that has occurred since would cause me to change my mind about Alan and his business: He's an honest, original voice in a fast-changing town, offering a rhythm that is hard to beat.
5.0 star rating
Always a great experience...
Alan is always a pleasure to do business with. He is knowledgeable and very kind. The classes they have are fun and very informative. Always a great experience.
Redington Beach, FL
Alan's knowledge is vast...
I needed to replace the head on a djembe. I live on the south shore of MA, and was having a hard time finding a place to do the job. I discovered the DrumConnection through a list serve and found the best resource I could hope for. Alan's knowledge is vast, and the service was done professionally, on time, and at a reasonable price. I do not need to look any further for my hand drumming needs.
It is a privilege to know you...
You play such an important part in drumming education in this country. It is a privilege to know you...
Name withheld upon request.
(but a famous dude in percussion).
Great Local Place, Great Stuff, Nice People
Bought a present for a friend and they had just what I wanted. They helped me pick the right one. Weren't pushy. Really nice vibe. Will definitely go back when I need a drum or a present for someone.
5/16/2016 5.0 stars! Yelp!
DrumConnection is great! Excellent teachers, extremely high quality guest drummers from Africa, and female teachers and leaders.
5/15/2016 5.0 stars!
Thank you Alan, Thierno, Audrey, Issa and Moussa!
At DrumConnection, I began my beginners' class feeling lost and insecure. However, while the drum is quite challenging, I have felt more and more connected to the group thanks to the wonderful teachers, and the kindness and acceptance of other drummers.
In other words I am deeply indebted and grateful for the opportunity to expand my skills, horizons, and sense of belonging thanks to the drum. The ongoing learning experience is challenging, exhilarating and humbling. Thank you Alan, Thierno, Audrey, Issa and Moussa, and thank you to all my fellow students!
5/13/2016 5.0 stars!
Thanks so much. Tuned up my kids drum, very knowledgeable and friendly!
4/28/2016 5.0 stars!
Love DrumConnection in Arlington!
Great teachers including the Masters from West Africa; great drums (all kinds) and accessories. Director and owner, Alan, is an excellent drummer himself, friends to all and always willing to share his knowledge. Classes & Workshops at all levels challenging and tons of fun. Serious drumming going on here!
4/27/2016 5.0 stars!
Knowledgeable, and very helpful.
I watched Alan help a gentleman trying to rent an accordion. Yes, this sounds like a Seinfeld script, but it was touching seeing Alan help someone out. Additionally, the store is well supplied, and the prices are quote reasonable for being able to get your hands on what you need right now. Truly, an asset to the community!
Brian C. J.
April 9, 2016, 1:47 p.m.
Friends cannot believe how light it is and how good it sounds. Easy for me to carry. It is also very nice looking, not ornate, just beautiful wooden swirls. Thanks for all your help on this..... kdl
4/10/16 ; 5 Stars
I have spent several wonderful weekends at DrumConnection studying drumming rhythms with various master drummers (djembefolas) and I just want to thank Alan and the wonderful community of people I met at there for a wonderful, fun, inspiring and informative time. If I didn't live on Long Island, NY I would be there every week. 5 star rating from me!
Long Island, NY
2/24/2016 : 5 Stars!
DrumConnection is a wonderful place. Alan is so helpful, thoughtful and kind. The store has a great selection of drums that will help you connect to music from all over the world. Highly recommended!
Jan. 16, 2016 : 5 Stars!
Great experience, no pressure to buy or spend more than I wanted to, just the perfect assistance to help me find the right drum for me - a clear joy for drumming and very welcoming - made me feel right at home.
12/22/2015 : 5 Stars!
A great little store
I was looking for some nifty percussion accessories for my son-in-law and I really didn't want to go the the Guitar Center. What a great place! I got great advice & was able to find exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for! A perfect shopping trip & well worth the weekly trip down from Cape Ann!
Cape Ann, MA
5.0 star rating 12/6/2015 Yelp!
I took a beginner drum class here this fall. I was impressed by the business's connection to West African drumming. Thierno, a drummer from Guinea, was our teacher. If you want to learn drumming, have a weekly class with lots of laughing and meet people from around the world this place is for you.
5.0 Star Rating 12/4/15 Google+
Alan the owner is always friendly and helpful. When I was looking for a drum, he chose 4 drums he thought I might like, each unique. He helped me sort out the differences to find the combination of pluses that added up to the perfect drum for me.
Alan the teacher is a non-judgmental, supportive, and clear instructor whose decades of experience and amazing skill as a drummer combine to provide a safe and inspiring learning environment. I've studied with four other DrumConnection instructors and each is excellent in his or her own ways, and all certified by examination.
A great store and a wonderful school. I recommend it without reservations.
11/15/2015 5.0 Yelp!
The beginner drum class was extra special. Taught by Thierno Keita-what a wonderful escape each week from the work-a-day world into a world of rhythm and movement. Great for the brain and the soul. Alan Tauber, who runs the Drum Connection could not be kinder or more devoted to his art. This has been a postive turn for me and I will continue on this road with pleasure.
5.0 star rating 11/11/2015
DrumConnection is an nook of musical magic on Mass Ave in Arlington. The drumming teachers are from Africa, they sponsor workshops and trips to Africa to learn drumming. Alan the owner is very flexible and understanding with scheduling lessons. The drum selection is fantastic!! I recommend it to everyone I know. What a gem!
5.0 star rating 11/9/2015 Yelp!
Broad selection of percussion instruments from all over the world. Alan, the owner, really knows a lot about the instruments and the music they make.
5.0 star rating 11/7/2015 Yelp!
We have purchased many instruments from Alan. He knows so much about percussion instruments that we trust him with ordering sight unseen and have been pleased with our purchases. Prices are very reasonable. We drive 2 hours each way to shop at the Drum Connection and it is worth it.
5.0 star rating 11/6/2015 Yelp!
You will not find a more beautiful person than Alan to assit you with your journey of learning the drums. I have traveled with Alan to Guinea, purchased various drums, and attended numerous classes. Have not been able to find the joy I felt when I was involved with the Drum Connection. Please open a southern location!
5.0 star rating 10/5/2015 Yelp!
The drum I purchased from Alan several years ago is both beautiful and is a joy to use. The classes are fantastic -- designed for all skills levels and taught by master teachers that are knowledgeable and exciting.
They are patient and know how to break rhythms down to bite size. I have enrolled my 4 year old in the children's drum class and it is dynamic -- teaching movement and African songs. She loves it and loves her teachers."
5.0 star rating 10/19/2015 Yelp!
The Best! Thanks!
Purchased my djembe here a few years ago, just bought new skin, Alan and staff always knowledgeable and helpful.
5.0 star rating 8/29/2015 Yelp!
I am new to drumming and am having a ball. I went to a Sunday night lecture and lesson on one type of drums and followed that with 2 Sunday night drumming circles with an excellent teacher-but not at the rank beginner level. Still, I loved it and just tried to follow and keep up.
Now I am in a beginner class and I am still enjoying every minute. Alan is a kind and welcoming person. He coordinates to bring in a variety of excellent teachers and classes take place most every day of the week. He gives great advice about what to purchase and has rentals available. Come join the fun!
5.0 star rating 8/24/2015 Yelp!
This is a great little shop. Alan was able to rent me some drums for my autism caregivers retreat and was very accommodating. The drums were gorgeous, beautiful sound. Our group had a great time thanks to Drum Connection coming through at the last minute for me. Thank you!
June 25, 2015
5.0 star rating Excellent Teaching!
This is the first time I took drum lessons. I have taken piano lessons off and on for years. I really enjoy playing the drums. I had two teachers. They both had their individual style of teaching. I found that Alan is an excellent teacher. I would recommend anyone with a desire to learn drumming to check out DrumConnection. I haven't gone to their drum circle yet, but that's the next step for me. I am finishing up my first six weeks of classes, two more classes to go.
August 4, 2015
5.0 star rating 8/4/2015 Yelp!
I'm new to the djembe and drum circles in general. The drum circle I attended last week was a blast. Very relaxed and friendly, the drumming was amazing. Alan and Fanta were both very warm and welcoming. As others have noted, great energy. I'm definitely going back.
July 6, 2015
5.0 star rating Incredible Drums!
I returned to the store today to purchase my first djembe. Alan was more than helpful. He gave a mini-lesson on the spot so I would know how to evaluate the variety of drums, their tonal differences, etc. He also played several of them for me to have a better impression of what it sounds like once technique is mastered. The drum I finally settled on is incredible, love it. My wife was looking for a bodhran, and he gave demonstrations of those as well!
July 8, 2015
Way better than 5 stars!
Alan clearly loves what he is doing and it shows in the friendly, professional and deeply knowledgeable service. Way better than 5 stars.
June 10, 2015
Alan was so helpful. He came highly recommended, and lived up to it. I got a wonderful drum for my nephew - have not yet given it to him, but he is going to love it.
April 8, 2015
Five stars all the way!
Honestly, I can't say enough good things about DrumConnection. Alan and John helped me pick out the perfect drum, and when I came in tonight, Alan talked with me for at least an hour about technique, the history of the djembe coming to America, and more. The place is warm and inviting, and the people who work there are the same. I am confident I chose the best place to start my drumming journey, and I will be back for their classes! Five stars all the way!
March 7, 2015
My son is now starting drum lessons. We stopped in to purchase a drum pad and drum sticks. This is an amazing store. There is much to learn about choosing an instrument that suits you...and we were encouraged not to rush in and spend a lot of money at this stage. The store is packed with drums (mostly hand drums) and each visitor is encouraged to try out items that spark their interest. While visiting, my son tried several thumb pianos as well.
March 6, 2015
Fanta lead our group of 21 drummers thru two hours of song, dance, and drumming. Everybody was smiling at the end of the evening. What a deal for 10 bucks!
February 24, 2015
Drum Connection is a fantastic place to take African drumming lessons, meet some wonderful people and really expand your horizons by attending workshops with master drummers from West Africa. It's been a life changing experience for me. I am so blessed to part of Alan and Fanta's community.
February 13, 20115
As always Alan was right there to make sure I got exactly what I was looking for. He even sent me a photo/text to confirm that he had the correct size, shape and sound of rattle I needed. This was that perfect combination of personal service and immediate results.
February 5, 2015
Hey just wanted to write you a note to tell you how much I absolutely love the drum! It was the perfect choice for me. The slaps are just incredible and yet it gives good bass response. I brought it to work to play with the children and it was just such the perfect instrument. It’s just the right one for me and I'm really thrilled with it. Thanks so much.
January 24, 2015
Thanks Alan for your undivided attention today as I purchased the replacement head for the djembe I had previously bought at DrumConnection. Could not be more satisfied!