Saturday Workshop Sessions

Registrants sign-up for their workshops after checking in at the "Welcome Desk" in Bells Corners United Church

Workshop Session 1

  • Beginner & Refresher Stream Part 1
  • Enriching Intermediate & Advanced Skills
  • Honouring the Elements

Workshop Session 2

  • Beginner & Refresher Stream Part 2
  • Drumming, 'Trance' and Meditation


Workshop Session 3      

  • Beginner & Refresher Stream Part 3
  • Honouring the Elements
  • Enriching Intermediate & Advanced Skills

Descriptions and Facilitators

Beginner & Refresher Stream

Designed for those new to Biblical drumming or who have not played their frame drum with jingles in some time, this workshop has three parts. All registrants in the Beginner & refresher stream attend the three sessions.

We learn the holding position for the frame drum with jingles, its four basic strokes, some basic patterns, and a little of the spiritual history of the drum through PowerPoint presentations. A brief introduction to the tar will complete our time together. Handouts will be provided for registrants purchasing a drum at the Festival.  A beginner group will start in Ottawa in May 2016.  The instructional material is also found in the training DVD’s available for purchase at the Festival or through

Facilitator: Betty Lynn Schwab

Betty Lynn was a congregational worship leader for over 26 years. She then accepted a call to the national offices of The United Church of Canada as the Coordinator for Worship, Music and Spirituality. While there, she began introducing the frame drum to congregations in 2007. During an international clergywomen event, she met her first drum teacher, the Rev. Deborah Tate Breault, who introduced her shortly afterwards to Layne Redmond. Now retired, she devotes her time to furthering the studies and drumming tradition recovered by Layne.

Honouring the Elements

Next week is Earth Day (April 22). In recognition of that day, this workshop honours the four elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water that enable us to call Earth “our home.” Circle songs with accompanying drum patterns empower us to appreciate more deeply the interdependence of Earth and us.  This is an opportunity to work closely with a very gifted and renowned frame drummer.

Facilitator: Miranda Rondeau

Miranda is an international frame drum artist and workshop facilitator. She chants in a devotional language of her own and has drummed at festivals, universities and colleges, women's conferences, mental health centers, and various ceremonies. Miranda studied and played with Master frame drummers Layne Redmond and Alessandra Belloni. She facilitates frame drum workshops and vocal playshops, and sees drum, dance, and song as sacred arts that have the power to heal. She is a founding member of the LuvAmp Project.

Enriching Intermediate & Advanced Skills

One of Layne Redmond’s oft-repeated reminders was the need for every drummer to go back again and again to the basics, striving for precision, clarity, consistency and speed of each stroke and pattern.  In this workshop we will be using both the frame drum with jingles and the tar.  We will review basics, learn new patterns and experience drumming in 2 or 3 parts. Note: ALL intermediate drummers take ONE of the two sessions of this workshop.

Facilitator: Barb Pitcher

Barb Pitcher has been playing drums over 50 years and the frame drum since 1997. Having studied with author/master drummer Layne Redmond, and Glen Velez,  Barb is now a performing artist and teacher. She has drummed with many groups including the Michigan Womenʼs Music Festival, Ontario Women’s Drum Camp, West Michigan Concert Winds,  and the ShapeShifters. She collaborated with Layne at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention and in producing a concert of 35 frame drummers at the Howmet Theater, Michigan.  Her passion is to enable everyone to experience the powerful, diverse rhythmic culture created when we drum together.

Drumming, 'Trance' & Meditation

The spiritual life of ancient women is the foundation of Biblical drumming. Today, that religious or spiritual life of the Biblical drum is coming to life again.  In this workshop, you will learn a style of drumming that can be used as groups or as individuals to support spiritual and any personal inner ‘work.’ It will provide tools to invoke a relaxed state through rhythm and effective voice. It can be a powerful tool for growth and group or individual empowerment.

Facilitator: Amy Oak

Amy Oak has been studying frame drumming since 1997, extensively with Layne Redmond and Glen Velez. She began teaching drumming in 1998 at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival and has continued teaching there and in many contexts including the First International Biblical Drum Festival, the Ontario Womyn's Drum Camp, and the Trance Reunion Intensive which carries forward Layne Redmond's legacy. Amy performs as a duo with Barb Pitcher and with the ensemble they founded, Framing Rhythm, based in Michigan.

Facilitator:  Wendy Morrell

Wendy is the International President of the Sacred Dance Guild. She has held many positions within the SDG, and has been intimately involved with a number of the SDG biennial Festivals, including the 50th Anniversary Festival in 2008. She has been dancing since birth, and studied most dance forms. She is presently the artistic director of two dance choirs, and leads sacred dance offerings and workshops in her community.

Biblical Drum, Sacred Dance

Sacred Dance has a rich history stretching back to most ancient civilizations when ritual was part of everyday life. Sacred Dance understands dance as prayer,  a means of spiritual growth,  and a connection to the Divine, however the dancer interprets the holy. Western religions split the drum and dance apart and banned both from worship.

We will learn the basics of Sacred Dance and imagine how we might bring our Biblical Drum and Sacred Dance back together.  This is exciting groundbreaking work.