An authentic and interactive Garifuna drumming lesson for all ages. Join a whirlwind introduction to the fascinating and unique culture and music of the Garifuna people of southern Belize. Fun for all ages, abilities, backgrounds, even if you've never touched a drum in your life. Everyone loves learning to play the Garifuna drums. Your instructor will give you a brief history of the unique UNESCO recognized Garifuna people, music and culture. He will then launch straight into your drumming lesson, teaching you a simple beat on your own large "segunda" bass drum before joining in on his own drum with dynamic and fast rhythms and songs.
Situated on the edge of Punta Gorda town in picturesque surroundings under our traditional thatch palapa with parrots, toucans, howler monkeys, iguanas and hummingbirds all living nearby, from the time you arrive to the time you leave you will never forget your experience.
When you arrive you will be greeted by your host, Ronald Raymond McDonald (yes, his real name), an ambassador for the Garifuna culture. As you walk under our thatch you will immediately feel relief from the hot tropical sun and enjoy the feel of the cool sand floor under your feet.
You can then admire the thatch while Ray guides you to your drums.
Both the thatch and drums are constructed entirely from jungle trees, leaves and vines without a single nail or screw. Ray will give you an overview of the Garifuna people, history and culture, a fascinating mixture of African and Amerindian heritage and culture, and then teach you a simple rhythm on your bass drum.
Once you can keep a steady beat, which most people catch on within a minute or two, Ray will then join in on his faster, higher pitched drum, also singing cultural Garifuna songs while you play. Depending how fast a learner you are, Ray will teach you up to five different rhythms during an hour-long lesson, or simply let you enjoy the sound of the simpler songs.
After your lesson, Ray can also show you other crafts and plants, such as the seeds of the canna plant which he grows next to the thatch, which are used inside the traditional maracas.
Throughout your lesson, Ray is willing to answer any questions and share more about this unique culture.