The Breakdown: Hand Percussion Techniques and Drum Circle Facilitation for Inclusivity and Creativity


Attendees will receive 3 Continuing Music Therapy Education Credits Pending CBMT Approval
Saturday February 24, 2018 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola University of New Orleans

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Taku Hirano, is of the top percussionists on the touring and recording circuit. His training encompasses Classical concert percussion, jazz drum set, and traditional Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, West African, Middle Eastern, Indian and Japanese styles and instruments. He has a Bachelor’s of Music with honors from Berklee College of Music as the institution's first graduating Hand Percussion degree major, He studied under the tutelage of conga master Giovanni Hidalgo. Additionally, he has studied Middle Eastern percussion under world fusion percussionist Jamey Haddad and frame drumming virtuoso Glen Velez. He completed graduate studies in World Music Performance at California Institute of the Arts studying West African and Indian percussion. He has spent time with Tokyo’s leading taiko drumming dojo through the Nippon Taiko Foundation, and has studied in Havana, Cuba both privately with percussion legend Jose Luis "Changuito" Quintana and through research at the Escuelas Nacionales de Arte - ENA (now known as Instituto Superior de Arte – ISA). 



Course Description:

This CMTE course will review basic hand percussion playing techniques, including practice tips to prevent injury.  The presenter will teach participants traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms and counter rhythms to include when they are facilitating drum circles. Strategies for simplifying rhythms and techniques in order to include participants of various abilities will be demonstrated. 

The course will be held in Roussel Performance Hall, 2nd Floor, Communications/Music Complex, ​6363 St. Charles Ave. New Orleans, LA 70118.


Learning Objectives:

Participants will demonstrate the ability to perform traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms for use in drum circles.

Participants will demonstrate the ability to simplify rhythms and techniques for inclusivity of varied levels of participation

Participants will demonstrate the ability to add counter rhythms will facilitating a drum circle




1:00 pm to 1:30 pm Registration

1:30 pm to 1:45 pm Overview, introductions

1:45 pm to 2:15 pm Review of basic hand percussion playing techniques

2:15 pm to 2:30 pm Practice Tips to prevent injury

2:30 pm to 2:45 pm Break

2:45 pm to 3:15 pm Application of traditional Afro-Caribbean rhythms to drum circles

3:15 pm to 3:45 pm Adding Counter rhythms to drum circles

3:45 pm to 4:15 pm Simplification of rhythms and techniques for inclusivity of varied ability levels

4:15 pm to 4:30 pm Questions and course evaluation



Continuing Education Credit

This continuing education course is approved by the Certification Board for Music Therapists to award 3 Continuing Music Therapy Education Credits. Loyola University Music Therapy Program maintains responsibility for program quality and adherence to CBMT policies and criteria.  



Register online



Registration Fees:

Professionals $50.00

MTALA Members $40.00

Loyola Alumni $30.00

Free to Loyola Students & Faculty



Refund Policy

A full refund will be granted if a written request is received by Feb. 14, 2018. Refunds will not be granted after February 14, 2018.



Contact Information

For more information contact: Kathy Murphy at or call (504) 855-2122.