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Music & Stories

The Cedar Hand Drum: Carving, Stretching, & Drumming

Course Overview

The timeless beat of the drum stems back to a time when we made our own music literally from the ground up.  Before drum shops and before Putumayo, materials were hand-harvested from the forest to create wonderful sounds and were used to find rhythm in the world. In this course you will learn to carve a cedar hand drum from a hand-harvested log and then explore hand drumming patterns for lifelong skills with music. You will also work with softened rawhide as it is stretched to a desired tension and tone in the drum head. Although every drum will vary depending on the hand-harvested log, the finished drum will be approximately 9" in diameter and 8" in depth.

Required Tools and Materials

  • Carving gouge (#5 - 1 inch gouge or ship gouge)**
  • Snug leather glove
  • Ear plugs

**North House has a limited number of these tools available for students to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis. Please let us know in advance if you need to borrow a tool and we will reserve one for you.

Optional Tools and Materials

  • Leather hole punch
  • Scissors for cutting leather
  • Acrylic paints and brushes for decorating
  • Carving knife or other carving tools **these are available from the School Store on campus - 888.387.9762

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.

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