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Artists at school


Leo Brooks

Performing arts
Music - Percussions


Leo Brooks

Leo Brooks graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor of Music with Distinction from the University of Lethbridge. Previous to this he had been a member of the Calgary Youth Orchestra, the Lethbridge Symphony, and the National Youth Band.

Since then, Leo has constantly looked for opportunities to improve his skills as a drummer, teacher, instrument maker and rhythmic facilitator. These have included a 10 week study tour in West Africa in 2006, a 6 day seminar in Scotland in 2009, and several study trips to Toronto, Calgary and New York.

Leo has been leading workshops, classes, and drum circles in the Ottawa-Gatineau area since 2000. He has shared his joy of drumming with innumerable groups of students of all ages in a great variety of settings.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Leo Brooks has been nurturing his love of drums and rhythm since his youth. After studying orchestral percussion and earning a Bachelor of Music degree, he turned his attention to hand drumming and ethnic percussion. Léonard has continued to develop these skills at every opportunity, learning from some of the masters of percussion and drum circle facilitation.

In addition to performing and teaching, Leo is an accomplished drum builder and repairman. His company, Treefrog Percussion, is known for its completely unique, professional-quality djembés, ashikos and other percussion instruments.

Above all, Leo aims to use drums and percussion to unify people in the joy of making music together.

Workshop 1
Special education (preschool and elementary)
Elementary (Grades 3to 6)
Secondary (Secondary I, II, III, IV, V)
Special education (secondary)

Introduction to the djembé

The goal of the djembé workshop is to experience the power of drum rhythms played together as a group. Each participant is provided a djembé, a drum of West African origin that is played with one’s bare hands. The rhythms learnt are inspired by various rhythmic cultures from around the world, but draw particularly from West Africa.

Workshops start with an explanation of technique and tone production. Then, some rhythms patterns are taught, all the while emphasizing the relation between these patterns and the central pulse. The group will then be divided into two sections, where each section plays its respective pattern but still functions in unison with the group as a whole. A polyrhythmic tapestry unfolds as more rhythms are combined. Students will relish the excitement creating complex music together so quickly and learn the value of listening, communicating and working together as a team.

These sessions are best for a class of students of the same level (20–30 participants) and can last for up to an hour. Leo particularly enjoys working over several days to move beyond the basics with a group, going so far as to create performance pieces or presentations at the end of multi-day or multi-week sessions.

Workshop 2

Explore rhythm and percussion!

In addition to conducting workshops with a more formal structure, Leo is also adept at offering sessions where students of any group can explore the wide world of percussion in more creative settings.

For example, very young children will love the chance to hear, touch and play dozens of different percussion instruments from Leo’s collection. They will learn about their division into families based on their construction, shape, size and sound. Students are encouraged to move to the music they hear and share their thoughts and ideas about what they experience. This workshop is best suited for individual classes at the preschool, first and second grade levels.

At the other end of the spectrum, older students can participate in a full-scale rhythm circle, using drums, shakers, güiros and bells and even Boomwhackers® to create spontaneous music together. Using his considerable experience as a facilitator, Leo directs the group to become a unified percussion orchestra. These sessions emphasize participation, mutual respect, communication and unity. This type of workshop is best suited for secondary-level students.

Let Leo work with you to create a percussion program that suits your needs.

Special conditions

For information

Leo Brooks
Phone : 819 682-8827
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



All levels

Available in

Montréal, Outaouais, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Laurentides, Montérégie

Other language(s)


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