I just attended a two-day workshop with Kristen in Des Moines and let me tell you, she is an amazing teacher! She is full of energy and easily pulls everyone in the room into the heart of West Africa. As a djembe instructor myself for over 25 years, I was very impressed with her teaching style. Her instructions are very clear and easy to follow. She has handouts for everything she teaches which makes learning so much easier and saves people the time of having to notate the rhythms themselves. She is very good at breaking a rhythm down into smaller parts and uses fun mnemonics for each rhythm, which is especially helpful for beginners. She is also able to engage with the advanced drummers in more complex parts on djembes and duns while the beginners play simpler parts. Kristen also has an amazing singing voice (much more African than Western) and she teaches the traditional African songs that go with each rhythm which adds a much deeper connection to the rhythms. She has handouts for each song's lyrics and is very patient, going over every nuance until everyone gets it right. I was also impressed that she was very willing to take input from people in the workshop as to what we wanted to learn. She is very loving and accepting of everyone in the room and will answer any and all questions people might have. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.
-Fonziba Koster - Fonzibadrums.com
These classes were a “game changer” for me. I had no experience with West African drumming. A friend suggested I check out Drumlady’s classes. I began in May 2020 doing both Drumspiration on Sundays and her Beginning Zoom class on Wednesdays. Ms K is unlike any other teacher I have had. She has a way of teaching so that no matter which way you learn best, she has figured out the various ways people “get it”. Some of us need to “see it” written out, some of us need to repeat it so that it becomes a part of our body’s language, some of us need words to remember the patterns. And these classes are fun – she gives each student feedback on their work in a way that feels very supportive.
I highly recommend “Ms K” as a wonderful teacher.
-Susan S., Oakland, CA
Kristen’s drum classes are upbeat, engaging and fun! Her instruction is clear and accessible, with opportunity for questions and direct feedback for technique. Kristen shares the meaning of rhythms along with funky phrases to help remember the patterns. She embodies a wealth of knowledge based on her years of study with master teachers and wisdom keepers. Kristen carries the lineage of djembe with integrity and heart.
-Elisha MacMillan, Ontario Canada
If you’re looking to get your mind off the drudgery of work, home, school, family and enter a joyous space, come to Ms. K’s drum experiences. She has the unique skill of being able to teach in many different ways to all levels of drummers. You will immediately fit in and experience the exhilaration of building community through drumming.
-Martha Duggan, Washington, DC
I’m so glad I accidentally stumbled into The Drumlady one day when I was needing a different djembe experience. I’ve been taking classes in my Colorado community for 10 years and I love to play the djembe. When Kristen announced that she would be having a class on the rhythm “Liberte,” I jumped on the chance to study with her. She is an amazing teacher and her energy is contagious. Not only did I learn to play the rhythm, but I also satisfied that need to play in community again. I realized in drumming in her class that, over the years,I had picked up a couple “bad habits” in my playing and she gently corrected them. I am hoping to continue on with both my local Colorado drumming community and Kristen’s Zoom classes.
-Shirley Williams, Longmont, Colorado
I know this sounds impossible but it’s true. Drumlady Kristen can quickly guide the uninitiated and untalented to the joys of music ensemble that you thought were reserved for professionals. Her teaching sessions have the ideal mix of progressive instruction and live play. In each session there are periods where, without a doubt, a primal connection is made among the drummers. It also doesn’t hurt that Drumlady is magnetic in every way, full of life, and despite her youth, has skill and knowledge of African rhythm and its place in African tribal culture one would expect of an ancient master.I fall in love with the hobby (and teacher) anew each week.
-Kevin Hacker, Actuary, Princeton Junction, NJ