Instructor:   Suzi Martin


Instructor:   Suzi Martin

Course Description:

Level: 1 – 2  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

Percussion plays a supporting role in creating music that is pleasing to the ear, but it can be much more than that!

In this class we will explore different percussive instruments including cajons, hand drums, tambourines, various “shakers”, a full drum kit, and many others.  We will learn how to create percussion with what we have at hand.  We will focus on common time signatures (4/4, 3/4) but also explore other timings.  We will explore folk, country, rock, swing, reggae, Latin, and other rhythms.  We will discuss how to choose percussion instruments based on the type of music you play most often and the sound you want to achieve. Learn how to tastefully support other players in a band or jam session. Learn the secrets to becoming the percussionist that other musicians want to have around!

This class will go beyond the drum circle into the playful realms of STOMP as we learn how to keep time using our bodies and instruments to enhance or even create a song.

Suzi Martin

Suzi is a local musician who has been playing music and singing for over 30 years.  She started percussion classes at age 7 and played percussion with both the Concert and Jazz bands in Junior and Senior High School.  She is currently a percussionist with the Riverside Jazz Band in Cochrane, Alberta.   She has performed with several bands in the Calgary area, playing a variety of instruments including drums, guitar, banjo, bass, and others. 

She has taught music in the Calgary area for 7 years and is a returning FAMI instructor.   Suzi is a two-time finalist in the Calgary Folk Festival Songwriting Contest.  She is happy to teach any age and believes that playing music should be enjoyable and fun.  

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.