World Rhythm Workshops

World Rhythm Workshops

Jon Sterckx World Rhythm Workshops at WOMAD. OCR Area of Study 3 – Rhythms of the World

World Rhythm Workshops

These World Rhythm workshops are available to schools, colleges, universities and at festivals & other cultural events. Jon is an experienced educator, and can offer a variety of rhythm based world music workshops. See below for details. Photo: Jon Sterckx – World Rhythm / Vocal Percussion workshop at WOMAD 2015.


Download World Music Workshops Flyer

General World Rhythm Workshops: (World Rhythm Taster Workshops) These World Rhythm workshops offer an introduction to rhythms and drumming from various world music traditions.

Available as single one off workshops or as longer term projects. Participants learn about Indian, West African & Middle Eastern / Arabic drumming and associated rhythms and learn to play West African Kashaka shakers.

Please note: Workshops are usually run mainly using traditional Indian vocal percussion, clapping, stamping etc. therefore no instruments are required or provided. The exception to this being Kashaka (African Polyrhythmic Shakers – see which are provided for use in these workshops (up to 25 pairs can be provided – 50 individual kashaka). Drums are not necessary, but can be used if provided by the participants or the event organiser / venue.

These World Rhythm Workshops are an excellent support & practical resource for the current GCSE OCR Area of Study 3 – Rhythms of the World. They are also very useful for A level, Degree & Post Graduate students as a way to broaden their understanding of rhythm for use in all forms of musical performance and composition work.

Download World Music Workshops Flyer Here

Videos of Jon demonstrating Kashaka shakers – one of the instruments demonstrated & taught in the World Rhythm Workshops:

Introduction to Indian vocal percussion: This workshop introduces the amazing vocal percussion languages of North Indian Tabla and South Indian Konnokol. Participation is through vocalising rhythmic syllables and learning rhythmic groupings, phrases and tongue twisting patterns. Useful for musicians of all ages and abilities or for anyone with an interest. No instruments or experience necessary.

Introduction to Tabla & North Indian Rhythm: This workshop will give an introduction to the fascinating rhythmic world of Indian tabla & North Indian rhythm. Learn about the techniques of tabla playing, Indian rhythmic structures and approaches to composition & improvisation. Participation will include vocalising rhythms using the traditional spoken tabla syllables and learning to play Indian rhythmic patterns on other drums.Please note: Drums need to be provided by the participants or the event organiser / venue.

Introduction to Arabic Rhythm: This workshop gives an introduction to the rhythms and techniques of Arabic drumming. Please note: Drums need to be provided by the participants or the event organiser / venue.

Rhythm Workshop Testimonials:


“Jon Sterckx has been an inspiring and highly popular associate lecturer in the University of Plymouth Music department for a number of years. His inputs range from workshop/recitals in classical Indian music, the exploration of Middle Eastern percussion via a more world music dynamic, through to exciting demonstrations involving live sampling and music technology. Jon is sensitive to the leanings of the contemporary music student and also understands the requirements of the university system, having directed sizeable elements of taught modules, individually and with a sitarist. He is 100% reliable and we always look forward to his various inputs.” Phil Hull, Head of Music, University of Plymouth, Devon.

‘We’ve been trying to get Jon down now for a couple years and finally managed to arrange a time where Jon’s schedule coincided with our World Music Project. Jon delivered an interactive workshop and performance for our students encompassing Southern Indian vocal techniques, Northern Indian Tabla techniques and Middle Eastern Percussion. Jon is an experienced educator and tailored his workshop to suit our music tech learners by incorporating Live Sampling using Ableton Live. I couldn’t think of anyone more suitable to run a workshop when approaching the vast subject of world music composition and performance. Highly recommend’ Matt Ward – dBs Music, Plymouth, Devon.

“Jon Sterckx is a talented and versatile percussionist. His communication skills are excellent, and our students benefited very much from his Planet Drum masterclass on Indian percussion. Jon is also a commited educator whose knowledge of world percussion subjects and sound technology make him a “must have clinician” for any organization dealing with drums education or rhythm musicianship.” Alain Maurel – Planet Drum Centre, Camden.

“Jon led a really successful workshop which exposed a wide range of students to the complex and fascinating possibilities of Indian drumming and rhythms. He demonstrated a passion and skill which inspired some really interesting responses in the workshop participants. A unique and fascinating experience for those involved.” Peter Noble – Curriculum Leader for Creative Arts, North Highland College UHI, Scotland.

“Jon Sterckx is a very professional and gifted teacher who has inspired our young people. He has helped them to transcend their rhythmic capabilities through engaging them in every lesson, creating an atmosphere of focus and enthusiasm. His students produce excellent work reflecting fine teaching”. Caroline Thompson, Head of Music, Wynstones School, Gloucestershire.

“Jon is an engaging and highly skilled musician with outstanding subject knowledge.” Pauline Jones, Head of Music, Sir Thomas Rich Grammar School, Gloucester.

“The percussion tutor was a good communicator and appropriately skilled, the pitch and pace of the session was just right and pupils enjoyed learning something new, their favourite bit was playing the Kashaka instruments” Feedback from school following World Rhythm workshops at Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan, West Wales.

Feedback from World Rhythm workshop – Actiontrack Studio, Taunton: “Extremely professional, very generous and totally engaging” – Nick Brace, Actiontrack Performance Company. “Jon’s knowledge excited and bent my brain in wonderful ways. I throughly enjoyed the authenticity of the music and the teaching.” – Molly-Rose, Vocalist for See Through Trees.

Feedback from World Rhythm Workshop at Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians: (emails from students parents). “She loved it, she thought it was a unique session. Liked how she got to try out new words and rhythm and learn something different from playing instruments. She came out beat boxing tak then takka and so on…many thanks. “He enjoyed the workshop, he demonstrated to me the sounds they had to make to the beat of the drum. I’m guessing he liked the interactive nature of the workshop.” “He liked the tutor and he found it is interesting. He said the speed was hard, as he found the words tricky but he liked the rhythms. He would happily do it again.” “He really enjoyed this session, particularly the polyrthythms, and found it very worthwhile.” “The workshop was amazing, I really enjoyed learning about the middle eastern percussion! Jon Sterckx really made it a fun experience. My favourite part being when we got to learn the vocal rhythms and the different terminology. It also helped me with my GCSE as one of our topics is world music which I will be covering very soon.” “I thought it went brilliantly and I believe the students got a lot out of it. Thanks again for an excellent workshop last Saturday.” Mrs Rachael Parvin, Head of Centre – Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians

World Rhythm Workshop at Crowdys Hill School, Swindon: “Jon came to Crowdys Hill, a school for special needs pupils, to give a series of World Rhythm workshops to our year 7 and 8 students and since we have had only positive comments from both students and staff about the experience. Jon was engaging, motivating and professional and was able to adapt his workshops continuously throughout the day to meet the needs of the students. The workshops gave the students the opportunity to listen to and play on instruments from India, Africa and Egypt – they all particularly enjoyed the kashakas! It was particularly delightful to see individuals who normally struggle to engage in group activities really come to life and feel a part of the workshops. As another staff member recognised, Jon was perfect for the SEN setting and all students were able to join in on an equal level; “Jon was able to engage all the students and was very calm with them. He encouraged them all to participate – quite difficult for the TLC [Thematic Learning Centre] classes! I particularly loved the way he got *Steve to have a go on the drums – Steve had been finding it difficult to begin with but was immediately engaged and enjoyed himself. The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and afterwards were talking about drumming – Steve is now very interested in drumming lessons.” Science teacher. An incredibly positive experience for our students and we look forward to welcoming Jon back to Crowdys in the future.” Hannah Brown, Music Coordinator, Crowdys Hill School. *Students name has been changed

Kashaka Workshop at Pate’s Grammar School, Cheltenham: (students feedback) “Didn’t realise such a simple instrument could do such complex things.” “More complex than it looks, but very fun!” “Really fun! It was hard but I learnt a lot!” “Brilliant fun! Complex, satisfying and enjoyable! Loved it!”

World Rhythm Workshop at Gloucester College: “Fun and interesting to learn new ways to make music” – Student. “It was inspiring” – Student. “It was interesting because you learn a new culture through music” – Student. “All learners were involved, and gained knowledge while enjoying the ‘hands on’ workshop” – Tim Murray, Teacher.

Jon has delivered workshops at: WOMAD, Drum Camp, Musicport Festival, Larmer Tree Festival, University of Plymouth, Rolle College Exmouth, Dartington College of Arts, University of the Highlands & Islands – Scotland, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama – Cardiff, Somerset College of Arts & Technology, Planet Drum Centre – Camden, South Devon College, Worcester Music Festival. Actiontrack Studio, Taunton, Hestercombe Centre for Young Musicians – a division of the Guildhall School, Gloucestershire College, Gloucester. Jon has also delivered tuition & workshops to schools across the South West & South Wales region as an independent artist & through the organisations: Plymouth Musiczone, DAISI, SPAEDA, Gwent Music Support Service & South West Music School. Music Workshops can also be booked for Arts centres & festivals & can be combined with performances.