Inspiring students to listen, move, interact, and develop a responsive engagement with the world around them through movement and sound.
One time workshops or on-going lessons are available.

World Percussion Classes with River Guerguerian every Wednesday*

*Please note, this Wednesday, April 17, Brian Carter will be our special guest teacher. Brian has just moved to Asheville from New York and brings a wealth of drumming knowledge and experience to our community. Please come help us to give him a warm welcome!

Become actively engaged in a life of rhythm at whatever level you seek: physical, healthful, soulful. River's classes inspire beginners to explore new possibilities, advanced students to aspire to deepening their skills and all participants to resonate in the supportive community that grows from making music together. 

When: Every Wednesday evening - drop ins welcome!

5:00pm - Free Intro: If you have never studied River’s finger style method before, or need extra practice, please come at 5:00 to become familiar with these techniques. We will focus on how to play proper tones with this notation vocabulary in preparation for the Level 1 class at 5:30. Come as often as you like.

5:30-6:30 Level 1 Hand Drumming: An entry level class applicable to all hand drums, but with a focus on frame drum and doumbek. Even if you have been playing for years, this class is for those who have never studied River’s finger style method before or want extra practice in basics. We will focus on how to create proper tones, how to internalize rhythm in the body, finding the pulse, building strength, and playing grooves together. Great warm up for Intermediate/Advanced drummers.

6:45-8:30pm Level 2 Intermediate/Advanced Hand Drumming: This class is for those who have been playing for several years and have studied River’s method. We will focus on how to embellish basic tones, how to play melodic phrases and lyrical rhythmic cycles, how to maintain a rhythm while others play a counter rhythm, and grooving in odd time signatures. We will explore a wide range of rhythms from around the world.

Where: Odyssey School - 90 Zillicoa St. Asheville NC 28801 - Studio is downstairs. Please enter the lower level door facing the pool.
Teaching approach:
Price: $13 Level 1; $17 Level 2; 2 classes on the same day for $25.
Details: Bring your doumbeks, frame drums, riq tambourines, cajons, djembes, etc. There will be extra drums available.

Rhythm & Drumming Workshop

-Achieve a well-rounded tone, and make your drum sing
-Build upon our own naturally-given internal rhythm
-Learn rhythms from around the world
-Play harmoniously with other people, and much more.

Sound Exploration & Sound Meditation Workshops

Sound can induce trance-like conditions which include slow respiration rates and deep relaxation.
These states have been known to induce strong visual imagery, and evoke little or no awareness of the physical body

—Share and understand the deep, creative, and rhythmic space from which sound/music originates. 
—Make listening a full-body experience, learning how to absorb sound vibrations with our whole bodies. 
—Use instruments such as Himalayan singing bowls, gongs, bells, rattles, flutes, drums, and voice to demonstrate the transformative and healing power of sound. 

School Workshops & Residencies

“Rhythm in the Environment”: an experiential program of sound explorations.

The project benefits students on a multiple of levels, engaging developmental pathways (physical, ethical, social, emotional, and cognitive) and integrating many aspects of an academic curriculum: social studies, environmental science, and mathematics.

Each week students work with musical instruments from around the world to:

  • Strengthen their understanding of the aesthetic concepts of sound on the physical level,

  • Use sound to center themselves and influence their state of being,

  • Practice physical movement as a natural and fundamental part of their daily lives, improving their overall physical health,

  • Enhance social skills through cooperative collaboration,

  • Bolster self-esteem through new awareness, and

  • Increase their understanding of commonalities among world cultures.


* Programs can be tailored from one-day to twelve weeks.  The majority of the time is "Hands-on"
The curriculum listed below was scheduled over a five-week period.

WEEK 1 – What is sound?

        Introduce the concept of sound and the physics behind it. Using Chinese gongs, Himalayan singing bowls, Middle Eastern frame drums and West African drums, students build an understanding of sound, space, time and energy while working cooperatively with others.

WEEK 2 – How we listen.
        Using tribal and indigenous music, we investigate how we hear sound listen with the ears, the brain and the whole body.  We develop listening, analyzing and evaluating skills in relationship to constant change.

WEEK 3 – Our creative essence.
        Focusing on the creative impulse we learn how sound is produced from the deepest part of our being—the same way nature produces sounds. We will explore the physics of sound making, pattern and frequency.

WEEK 4 – Why we make music.
        This week explores music as an important means of self-expression.  We see how it is universal throughout culture and history, and build awareness of commonalities among individuals and cultures around the world.

WEEK 5 –Function of Music.
      Students are introduced to the various functions of music: sacred, ceremonial, celebratory, meditative, entertainment, and dance.  They will explore musical concepts such as dynamics, tempo, time signatures, articulations, and phrasing.