Drum Up Big’s Founder and Director, Tara Tucker has been playing West African percussion for over 15 years. She has studied traditional drumming with Master drummers and cultural ensembles in Guinea, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, The Ivory Coast and Ghana.
Tara teaches African drumming at various arts centres and community spaces in and around Hobart. Her students appreciate her patience, energy, good humour, attention to detail and her infectious enthusiasm for rhythm in all its forms.
Tara also facilitates therapeutic rhythm-based programs for vulnerable populations including seniors, youth with disabilities and adults recovering from trauma. Tara is motivated by the power that drumming and other forms of rhythmic music and movement have in promoting social connection, self awareness and social-emotional learning.
Tara is an accredited Facilitator of the DRUMBEAT Program, an award-winning program that incorporates hand drumming, behavioural therapeutic principles and cognitive and dialectical elements. She also facilitates Rhythm2Recovery, an evidence-based program that uses reflection and rhythm in therapeutic and educational settings.
In 2016, Tara was a Teaching Artist in Residence at Kickstart Arts, an independent arts organisation that uses creative arts to promote wellbeing and positive social change in Tasmania.
Tara is one of only 2 djembe teachers in Australia to have been personally certified by djembe Grandmaster Mamady Keita as a teacher for Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy International, his international school of West African drumming. This certification is an official acknowledgement of her musical ability, rhythmic and historical knowledge of the djembe and was awarded to her personally by Mamady Keita after many years of intensive study and a lengthy practical exam. Tara’s other teachers include Famoudou Konate, Mohamed Bangoura, Babara Bangoura, Lamine ‘Lopez’ Soumah, Mohamed Camara, Boubacar Gaye, Ray Pereira, Nii Abia and Nii Tettey Tetteh.
Whatever your location, you can access Tara’s drumming lessons through her online method Learn Djembe Online.
Below,: Photos of Tara with students in India, Bali, Vietnam, Tasmania and China.