A PERSONAL LETTER FROM MARLA
Music is my medicine; Music runs deep in my blood.
My father was a Opera Singer/Doctor – and my mother was a Pianist – my great great grandfather was the violinist for the ZAR ..and the story continues…
I began studying music at the tender age of 3. Music has served as the one thing in my life that has ALWAYS been there for me, as a way to express myself, and to find solace in the intense world that we live in.
My mother sadly passed at a very early age, and I found myself going to my music more and more. I loved to improvise and make up my own songs since as early as I can remember. It was these moments of pure ecstasy in music that created my passion and love for this artform. I feel blessed to still have the creative fire to explore, express, create sonic wonderlands.
I went to Calarts as a BFA jazz flute major and ended up graduating with my MFA in Percussion. It was there that I met my mentor and first frame drum inspiration, John Bergamo – what a genius he was – I am truly grateful for meeting and studying with him for over a decade.
How did this happen?
I just happened to go to a college that had one of the BEST world music departments in the world. I just happened to meet John Bergamo while at college , one of the world’s finest hand drummers. I just happened to also study over a decade of time with percussion masters Glen Velez, Randy Gloss,Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Alfred Ladzekpo, Kobla Ladzekpo, and Sriji. I also had the great fortune to be mentored under Layne Redmond during her last years. Can someone pinch me?
My training was truly with masters in the field. What a blessing, what a gift, and its time to SHARE THE KNOWLEDGE.
I began teaching online about 10 years ago, I loved the idea. Because the frame drum is such a specialized instrument, it can be hard to find local teachers, so I love the idea of offering a way that people from all over the world can learn.
My first student was from Atlanta, and all of a sudden, I had a pool of students from around the world within 6 months of starting online lessons – Super Cool! I was hooked and inspired to take it to the next level..
FRAME DRUM ACADEMY has been in the making for a while, and with the blessings of incredible technology, I’m so delighted to be offering this. I have always wanted to teach in a University atmosphere, and now I can, with my very own Academy.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the program, make it take you on a beautiful rhythmic journey that will inspire you in ways beyond words…
Thank you for Reading & Happy Drumming,