Joy of Samba Drumming Workshops

The Joy of Samba Drumming Workshop (l-R: Jim Weber, the kids).

Our Mission

To make music, a person must consciously work on control. The heart beat, breath and body movements must entrain to produce the correct sound in the right rhythm. This exercise builds life skills as participants learn the value of concentration and personal effort. They are encouraged to take chances within the safety of the larger group. Even simple achievements are rewarded as the group begins to sound better. The question most asked at the end of our workshops is “When can we do this again”? The purpose of the program is to expose people to the world of percussion and poly-rhythms through contact with an exciting foreign culture. Self confidence and group participation are just two of the immediate rewards. We believe the arts are imperative in a society concerned with operating in a humane manner, because higher self-esteem is a necessary goal. Ideally the workshop will commence with a performance by The Berkshire Bateria. This will show, by example, the possibilities for playing the rhythms by an ensemble of experienced drummers.

Joy of Samba…Drumming Workshops

Samba, as played in Brazil, is a poly-rhythm. Individuals play simple patterns on authentic Brazilian instruments and together “weave” this happy, magical music. As directors of “Bossa Triba and the Berkshire Bateria, Jim & Teri Weber are intimately familiar with this exciting and compelling music form. They have studied extensively with Samba masters in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil and presented their programs in a wide variety of venues, including many schools, and major festivals, and even at the base of the Great Pyramids in Egypt!

The Joy of Samba-Poly Rhythm Workshop

We will explore the magic of traditional Batucada, the street samba of carnival in Brazil, where hundreds of participants work all year to ready their “schools” drum and dance presentation. Samba is an Afro/Brazilian rhythm that can be exciting or soothing, with sections of different percussion instruments “weaving” the whole tapestry of sound that is simply an irresistible part of Brazilian culture. Participants will be exposed to performances on traditional Brazilian instruments and will have a chance to work with pandeiru, ganza, surdo, agogo, tamborim, cuica an berimbau.

Group Size

There is virtually no limit to the number of participants. Instruments are available for up to fifty players and rotation occurs during the program. Back to the top


The session starts with group integration exercises and a brief discussion on working together in rhythm. The directors teach simple ancient patterns on several different instruments, guiding participants to stay relaxed in the learning process. The group then divides into subgroups each with a member of the Bateria and learns to play “in sync”. The group then plays together as a whole. This process is repeated many times with participants having an opportunity to try one or more instruments. We can accommodate up to fifty active participants at one time, with casual observers also getting benefit.