Comments from Afrocuban Percussion Studies

Really appreciative of the time and enthusiasm put in by Raz, Cath, and all OVM staff. The day long study sessions, from 10.00am to 10.30pm with appropriate breaks for lunch etc. is very good and optimizes learning whilst on the course. The whole OVM experience is quite a unique and enyoyable one. Brian Evans, Wirral

I started this journey with a Level 1 course as a beginner community samba player, I remember being awestruck listening to some former ROC students play. I have built up my skills with OVM layer by layer, and although there is lot more work to do, it is thrilling to play this music and feel the skills improving at an ever increasing pace. I recently spent some time working with musicians in Cuba and found that the course had been excellent preparation for this. Gary Marsh, Guernsey

On an educational level, the course has introduced me to a music and culture that has opened up huge possibilities for further studies and on a personal level, it has lead to increased knowledge of my own learning style and abilities and has given me a much needed boost to my self-confidence. Philippa Barrett, Cardiff

This is a rich and diverse course that provides insights into the world of Afro-Cuban drumming styles and also the cultural context that goes along with it. A myriad of drumming, rhythm and other possibilities are opened up. The course enriches your life in many, many ways, from social contact to professional development. Jude Kirk, Penzance

With regards to feedback, the week was great as usual. Top class tuition and I really enjoyed Howard’s session on Conga & Mozambique. Roddy Dixon, Glasgow

Once again a brilliant week, going into more depth with Cuban
Carnival styles. Howard’s input added a new dimension with different instruments and specialist knowledge, and was thoroughly enjoyable.

As ever, the pace pushed me without giving me a nervous breakdown, and the range of new material was exciting. The group is picking up new material much more quickly now, and the general sound has really improved, showing how much we have all progressed. K.S.

I could write an essay but this is without question the best drumming / life experience I have had in my 15 or so years of playing percussion. Joy Duncan, Shetland Isles

The course covered more material and depth than I ever imagined. It has given me a wealth of knowledge and ability that I didn’t anticipate gaining in just two years, especially singing, I never expected that and I love it! Assay Soudry, Glasgow

The course has given me knowledge of Cuban folkloric music, developed my technique and increased the pleasure of making music. Eilon Morris, London

For me, the most useful part of the course has been gaining an understanding and confidence and learning about the rich and complex history and culture that is Afrocuban folkloric music.
Lee Crisp, London

I only had a very basic knowledge of Cuban music before attending this course. It’s given me a much deeper understanding of many different styles and lots of rhythmic inspiration for the non-Cuban groups I’m involved in. Jo May, London

I was attracted to the course because I wanted to go through a learning process with a group of people who have a shared interest. I suppose I expected to be consolidating and improving my skills more but have discovered more starting points than anything else – now I just want to go back to my room and practice! The course has given me a lot of insight into how to go about studying all this material. The variety of content and detail has presented many doors. Robyn Moran, Cardiff

It was a fantastic course and Raz is an incredibly clear and patient teacher and very consistent. Dinah Haywood, Bristol

The ROC course is one of a kind in Britain. It encompasses a wide variety afro-cuban percussion instruments in folkloric and popular styles. it is intensive, challenging, set in a perfect venue and great fun (or did I mean rum?). Raz is not only an incredibly talented percussionist,but the best teacher i have studied with. He has a calm and sensitive teaching manner, and the ability to push every member of a group, even within a group with a wide variety of experience/ability. Rob Arcari, Brighton

I have been loving the course! Raz is an inspirational percussionist and a wonderfully patient teacher, the residential group set-up is really supportive and a great laugh, and I can’t imagine a more intense way of learning – you can see how far you’ve come by the end of the week. I thoroughly recommend it – the whole thing has been an inspiration. Bethan Emmett, Oxford

This module of Roots of Cuba was very stimulating. So many rhythms from Conga Oriental to Yoruba Chants with sacred Bata rhythms. Daniela Rosselson, London

I am extremely happy to be on the Roots of Cuba, the teaching style is relaxed but thorough and I started to sing for the first time in my life. Thank you. Jon Halls, Ipswich

Good fun, good pace, plenty to learn. Karen Sillars, Lochwinnoch

Words can’t describe what it is like to attend such an unbelievable event. Damian McDonnell, Manchester

Thank you. I feel like I’ve learnt an excellent broad base of Afrocuban folkoric music. Keep it going! Hannah Bee, London

The course was fantastic and I enjoyed it immensely. Raz’s teaching was excellent. Pauline Madden, London

First class course, excellent tutor, fine venue and great company of fellow students. Ellen Fox, Fife

It gave me all I expected and more – covered so much ground, really helped me understand something of where different traditions come from & great to play with so many good drummers. Kerry Rowe, London

I would like therefore to thank you very much for all of the material and encouragement over the last couple of years and say that I think your teaching style is brilliant and has been very useful. Chris Watkins, Brighton

The ROC has been a brilliant course and an amazing experience! Thanks for the fantastic modules – the brilliant teaching and supportive atmosphere (never experienced any learning environment that comes close!) Mark Hannington, Cambridge

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