Cultural Music Classes
- learning about diverse cultures through music -  


"Phil’s teaching approach is energetic and engaging to kids as well as teachers. Put quite simply, Phil gives you innovative concepts in a simple to follow, consistent format, backed by years of professional experience and perspective."
- Craig Faniani, VAPA Coordinator
San Juan Unified School District

Phil offers classes that feature engaging cultural content and interactive hands-on learning. They're typically scheduled for after school enrichment, and there are 12 exciting lessons from which to choose.

Phil teaches students how to read musical notation, sing and play with rhythm instruments, and have fun exploring music and language from diverse cultures. Each of his lessons blends interactive games, call and response activities, multimedia, and energetic drumming patterns that students perform with body percussion, shakers, drums, and Boomwhackers. Cultural Music Classes work best when presented as a series (2 or more classes) so students can reinforce what they've learned and apply new skills.

Each lesson revolves around one unique rhythm, the people who developed it, and its place in their culture. Schools may choose any of the lessons, and in any order.

Rhythms from Ancient Mexico (2 lessons)

  1. Log Drum Song - this rhythm is played on an Aztec log drum, or teponaztli (pronounced tay-po-nawtz-lee), and is played along with poetry.
  2. Song of Tlaltecatzin - Tlaltecatzin was famous for writing songs and poems. He was also the son of the Aztec king, Montezuma II.

Rhythms from Vietnam (2 lessons)

  1. Chay Dalim - a song that tells the story of the Cham people of Vietnam, accompanied by the Baranung drum.
  2. Butterfly Dance - this rhythm is played on a Ganang drum, and is heard on special occasions and holidays.

Rhythms from a grade school in Ghana (2 lessons)

  1. Kɔtɔkɔ, mommra - a Twi phrase that is played on atumpan drums. It welcomes the students back to class after recess and lunch. 
  2. Yeda w’ase, Akudɔnto - a Twi phrase that is drummed at the end of school. It translates to "Thank you very much.".

Rhythms from the Middle East (2 lessons)

  1. WaHida - named after the word "WaHid", which means "one" in Arabic, since this rhythm has a single low accent at the beginning.
  2. Taaqasiim - based on the Arabic word "taq-sim", which means "split" or "divided", since this rhythm is divided by two low accents.

Rhythms from Indigenous peoples of North America (2 lessons)

  1. Ute Bear Dance (Western United States) - a dance at the beginning of Spring, when the bears come out of hibernation.
  2. Chippewa Moccasin Game Song (Northern United States & Southern Canada) - a song that is sung while playing a guessing game with moccasins.

Rhythms from Ireland (2 lessons)

  1. Jig - a lively Celtic dance rhythm in 6/8 time that is played on a Bodhran drum.
  2. Hornpipe - a bouncy rhythm in 4/4 time where you "step-dance”, or step the rhythm with your feet.


Cultural Music Classes are $550 for 2-3 classes in a 2-hour timeframe. 

There is an additional travel charge for schools more than 1 hour from downtown Sacramento, California.

Please click here for pricing on Virtual Programs.

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