Former Syracuse Teacher Conducts Hand Drumming Workshop at State Fair Former Syracuse School Teacher

Hudnell: One of the fixtures here at the New York State Fair is John Heard’s Hand Drumming Workshop. Heard is a former teacher in the Syracuse Public School System and this year marks his tenth year conducting his annual workshop. Heard says the drums he uses are hundreds of years old… which requires Heard to get creative when he teaches each session.

Heard: “I do an oral sort of thing… because after all there wasn’t really any sort of written music 500 years ago when these drums came along… and so I try to share that with the people that come in.”

Hudnell: Both kids and adults choose to attend Heard’s shop… and Heard says these are often their first time handling the popular African drum called the Djembe (JHUM-BAY).

Heard: Every now and then you get somebody that knows what they’re doing but everyone is a beginner, so they’re adventurous—some people have never even seen these drums before—and that’s always a fun challenge to show them what it’s all about.”

Hudnell: Heard says typically a few hundred people choose to participate in his workshop each year. Bryan Hudnell, N-C-C News.

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