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Drum-Song Reclamation Training

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Event description


A 7-week initiation into the skill of drumming to support singing for collective healing and power

with Shireen Amini

co-facilitated with Morgan Vanderpool


Wednesdays, 6:30-8pm PT on Zoom

**NO CLASS ON NOVEMBER 22 (for midway integration)

>>> Though the REGISTER button indicates "FREE," this is just the default setting for by-donation payment. Please see PAY STRUCTURE GUIDE below to select your level of contribution for this training. Apologies for any confusion!


As my being expands in song leading work and dives deeper into the mysterious possession of rhythm-making, it has become increasingly clear that restoring our connection to soul, village, voice, and rhythm is vital to shift the momentum of generations of harm. 

Reclaiming drum and song is a pounding beat whose echo ripples backwards and forwards through time. We are called to rhythm because it is innate and powerful. We have been estranged from rhythm for these same exact reasons. The cuttingly and cunningly-present living legacies of patriarchy, white supremacy, colonialism, and capitalism have impacted us generationally, viscerally and show up in our relationship to music. 

So we have to get conscious and creative about how we reclaim it.

We must reclaim it in a way that pours the waters of compassion and sorrow over generational losses for cleansing, healing, and revival. We must reclaim it in a way that re-traces our way back to the soul and power of drum-song even in this commercialized, globalized field of music we grew up in; recreating with the fragments of what we know, fragments that still hold the essence of something ancient. 

We have access to rhythms and drums from all over just waiting to be reconnected to their lineages, stories, and medicine purpose. We have songs emerging of great cultural turning, just waiting for their soulmate grooves to activate their messages into motion. We have a drum-song culture just waiting to be revived in service of all life.

Now we just need you.

If our world is a village, you are a vital part of its musical ecosystem; singing together with the support of a drum being the most simple, profound, and accessible template. And it is our purpose to reinstate your right to rhythm through awareness and tools for creativity that expand drum-song in your life and work.

We believe in…

• Reconnecting bodies to rhythm as a source of healing, power, and magic.

• Reclaiming drumming as a pathway toward ancestral mending, both in reaching for the land-based diasporic cultures that still run in our blood and in actively repairing harm in our current systems through reverent practice. 

• Empowering people with the skills, understanding, and creativity to bring music in service of calling, where mastery is unnecessary but cultural competency and musical principles are foundational. 

• Restoring drumming and singing together as a community practice for health, grief, joy, prayer, resistance, and calling in new ways.

If you feel ready to be part of this reclamation, we welcome you!

Please read on…


Over the course of 7 weeks, with one week off for midway integration, we invite you to become an initiate in reviving grassroots drum-song culture for the healing of our bodies, histories, expression, relationship to power and as power to the people. We will take a holistic approach to learning the skill of drumming to support song (and drumming while singing) in the modern U.S. context with the elements of:

  • right relationship to drum and rhythm lineages and ancestry
  • rhythm’s relationship to trauma recovery and the body
  • spiritual practice to access altered states of consciousness
  • creating rhythms and arrangements for community songs with awareness of rhythm as energy medicine

Our intention is to help you tend to your soul, shine your gifts, and empower you for your calling in music - at the same time as you fortify your skills and creativity, becoming more deeply acquainted with the nature of rhythm through concept, vocabulary, experiential insight, and play. 

We will support your capacity and confidence in creating rhythms, rhythm arcs (or arrangements), and bolstering your voice or group of voices, potent channels they are, in song. And we will support your joy through your phases of growth in the process, melting away blocks and barriers to your own soulful expression of melody and groove. 

You will be part of a pioneering program, one that hybridizes music class with soul work and community activism. Shireen, your rhythm guide, will have the great honor of co-facilitating this journey with embodiment guide, Morgan Vanderpool, who will help us stay deeply attuned to the wisdom of our bodies as we remember and reconnect with the restorative rhythms of our nervous system. 

While this training will be offered online, make no mistake that this work is meant to be embodied in 3D life and taken out into the world. This, we hear, is how cultural revolution begins. 

So let's do this.


  • how to choose a drum 
  • building relationship with your drum
  • taking care of your body and how to practice
  • regenerative functions of our nervous system and rhythm-making
  • basic technique for different types of hand drums
  • drumming and singing at the same time
  • restorative power of our breath rhythm and movement while drumming and singing 
  • drumming for the community singing context
  • different functions of drums and percussion
  • how to choose a rhythm for a community song
  • rhythm arrangement principles for the arc of a song
  • American heritage rhythms and groove repertoire


Week 1 - The Root, The Downbeat

Week 2 - The Diaspora, The Backbeat

Week 3 - The Dance, Syncopation

Week 4 - The Trance, Triple Meters and Feels

Week 5 - The Community, Arrangement and Arc

Week 6 - The Rite of Passage, Final Project Showcase


Weekly Live Classes

Asynchronous Video Mini-Lessons + Playalong Videos

Online Community Forum

Live Office Hours

Final Project


A computer or laptop

Zoom app

A drum or rhythm-maker

A notebook or note-taking platform to capture insights (if that is your thing)


You must be present for 4 of 6 live classes including the final class on Dec. 13. If you cannot meet this basic requirement, please consider waiting for the next offering when you are able to.

Live classes will be recorded and archived for playback.

The details and options for the final project will be shared at the start of our training. In essence, you will integrate your learning by creating and sharing a drum-song piece, up to 3 minutes long. 

You can expect about 2-5 hours of commitment a week for this training, which includes attending class, homework assignments, and practice time.

Though no prior musical training is required, this class is best fit for drummers with some experience with rhythm or drumming rather than absolute beginners. 

You do not need a traditional drum, but you will need something that can serve as a drum for the duration of the class.

This class is geared toward drums that use our hands and that can generate a low and high tone. Two-handed, single-handed, and single mallet drums are welcome. This class will not be geared toward drumstick drums, though the learning can be applied if this is what you are called to use. 

Shireen teaches rhythm from a very specific background in Afro-Latin and African diasporic rhythms. She does not claim to have a comprehensive knowledge of rhythm traditions from all over the world. 

While this offering involves singing, our focus will be less on training the voice and more on drumming and rhythm-making to support the voice.


Number of participants will be capped at 22

We will aim for 50% spots reserved for BIPOC* participants

If your ticket category sells out, please register for the WAITLIST (free). We will let you know asap if a spot opens up for you!

*Mixed race folks, I trust your discernment about which category you fall under. As a guide, if you are 75% or more of European descent, please consider allowing space for folks who carry more non-European ancestral heritage to take a BIPOC participant slot.


Live transcription will be available during live classes. 

If you have any accessibility needs, please let us know in the registration form and we will do our best to support your access to all features of this training. 



Tiered options:

$377 - CAN EASILY AFFORD THE COST OF TRAINING and would like to support those who cannot

$288 - CANNOT EASILY AFFORD COST OF TRAINING and would like to receive support from those who can

+ Ticket fees: Host absorbs $1.29 fixed fee and splits percentage fee (50/50) with participant. Our ticketing platform Humanitix donates 100% of profit from your booking fee to children's charities.

Please pay the cost of the training or whichever tiered option above best aligns with your truth and capacity. Consider this a practice in equity inside an inequitable economic system that creates extreme wealth gaps.

*Payment Plans available (contact host)


A portion of proceeds from this class will be donated to this Afro-Peruvian Fund. Afro-Peruvians are descendants of peoples who survived the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade. Since they were unable to bring their drums with them, enslaved Africans brought to the coast of Perú transferred rhythms onto fish and fruit crates, innovating the box drum called the cajón. The cajón is now ubiquitous, especially in the United States, yet its roots and even its name are often forgotten. Studying abroad in Perú and learning to play this drum changed my life. I hope to pay that back and pay it forward in the small ways I am able.


Shireen Amini (non-binary using she/her in English, elle in Spanish) is a queer, second-generation Puerto Rican-Iranian American, Earth-loving singer-songwriter, percussionist, and song leader based on unceded Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, Molalla, Grande Ronde land aka Portland, Oregon. She carries a deep commitment to a more just and thriving world and believes strongly in music’s vital role in propelling forward the cultural revolution needed to bring this vision to life. 

She received her B.A. in Ethnomusicology at UCLA with a focus in Afro-Latin percussion and in 2005, studied abroad in Cusco, Perú where she learned how to play the Afro-Peruvian cajón. Since, Shireen has also studied drum circle facilitation with Arthur Hull, the father of the drum circle movement, and received a certificate in Sound, Voice, and Music Healing from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She has over 15 years of experience as an accompanying percussionist and  in facilitating youth and adult drumming groups. Most importantly, for over a decade, Shireen has developed her own experiential practice of drumming for trauma healing, energy cleansing, and access to spiritual insight. She is honored to share her knowledge and skills and invite deepened connection to the drum as it may serve others on their own path toward healing and empowerment.


Morgan Vanderpool, LICSW, is an elder millennial, queer, non-binary, white, neurospicy, ecologically and intersectionally-grounded: collective neuropractorrvous system mechanic, complexcollective trauma specialist, neuro-inclusive movement & restorative practice facilitator, choreographer and community builder, who has lived and worked across the Americas, y adora conectar en Español. They currently live on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish & Puyallup people.

Morgan has a Master in Social Work degree from University of WA, and a BA in Human Development, Latin American Studies & Dance from University of CA San Diego. They’re is dedicated to facilitating inclusive, accessible, mycelially-grounded and somatically abolitionist, restorative body-based practices, that strengthen our collective capacity to healthfully move with every neurospicy layer of our survivorship. So we may co-build thriving nervous and eco-systems- ONE BREATH AT A TIME.

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Refund policy

Full refund available until 7 days prior to start of class (Oct. 25). Full refund minus admin fee ($50) within 7 days of start of class (Oct. 25-Oct. 31). Partial refund available Nov. 1 or after. Contact host to discuss options.