African Drumming at FPS



Ray Pereira introduced the Drumming and Rhythm Program using African Drums into Footscray Primary in 2008.This is a popular program specially devised by Ray to introduce children to music and rhythm. It is designed to be an inclusive program that the whole school participates in and is designed for all levels and abilities. For more information on Ray visit

Ray is recognized as one of Australia’s leading percussionists and is an expert on West African and Afro Cuban drumming.



Why African Drumming?


It’s a cultural experience

Folkloric African traditions have influenced music right around the world – from Latin and Afro-Caribbean, to Jazz, Rock and Pop. We will be going back to the source of many styles of music – primarily to traditional West African rhythm, dance and song.

It’s creating music as part of a group

The repertoire that will be introduced relies on several parts being played harmoniously. Children will learn to listen carefully and play responsively to others.

It’s good for kids

This course will improve your child’s understanding of rhythm, enhance coordination and aural skills and develop their sense of time. Children will be encouraged to value the quality, not ‘quantity’ of music they play.

It’s for everyone

The repertoire is designed for children of all ages and any level of musical experience. It’s inclusive.

There is a place for everyone in the ensemble regardless of ability.

It’s fun!

The music we will learn has been around for centuries and is joyous and satisfying. Children get a real kick out of playing challenging rhythms that they can move and sing to. Most children love the drums and are instantly attracted to playing them.



The Teachers

Ray teaches the Year 3/4 to Year 6 classes and a member of Ray’s team, currently Jose, teaches the Foundation to Year 2 classes.


Ray has taught African Drumming at Footscray Primary School for a number of years. As a teacher at this school I have been privileged to have the opportunity to be part of this wonderful program. At the start of the year, my year 3 class really struggled to settle in but has really turned around after the effort Ray put into work with each and every student. He has taught us so much about music and culture. Ray views all his students as capable of learning and differentiates to cater for all levels of learners in every class. He is a skilled performer and an excellent teacher. I would highly recommend Ray’s Drumming Program. Be ready to be inspired!

Betty Lieu

Teacher at Footscray Primary 



“I have been taking Year 5 and 6 students to Ray’s African Drumming classes for a decade. I love the program. 

African Drumming adds a whole new aspect to a school’s curriculum that combines cultural diversity and the theory and practice of music seamlessly into the creation of great performances. 

Ray is a master of his craft who has high expectations of all students and knows how to motivate and draw out the inner musician in every individual. Drumming can be the success story for students who find academic learning challenging. 

African Drumming has become an integral part of our school’s identity, culture and celebrations.”

Andrew Gray
Teacher at Footscray Primary



Grade 6's from 2020 drumming 

Grade 3/4 D &E from 2020 Drumming.
Jose's class in 2020
What a parent of FPS has to say on the drumming program.