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3 Day Frame Drum Making Courses: An inspirational creative process.

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Students offered an unforgettable three day experience handcrafting their own Zilli-Tar frame drum. Fancy spending three days in the beautiful Victorian bush setting of St Andrews (50km's Nth East of Melbourne) learning to handcraft your own frame drum? Read on... Three day frame drum making courses are now offered at the Steam and Lumber workshop in St Andrews, Victoria. The three day intensives are set against a soundtrack of Diamond creek meandering past the studio door, black cockatoos and a family of Wedge-tailed eagles (Bunjil), the Steam and Lumber workshop is an ideal place to embark on a personal creative journey; crafting a frame drum using hand-tools, steam and stunning Australian timbers.


Frame drum making courses with Matt StonehouseFrame drum making courses.
Matt Stonehouse in his former studio at Montsalvat (Photo: Michael Teo)

Frame drums have been played for Millennia and can be found all over the world. In this intensive, we will be crafting a Zilli-Tar frame drum which has it's origins in the Middle Eastern regions—Turkey in particular. These drums feature small hand-hammered zills (Cymbals/ jingles) that are embedded into the main drum shell. Whilst they might sound/ activate when the the drum is struck, they can also be played using intricate finger techniques giving them the same versatility as the high-hats found on a drum kit. Limited to only four students and catered for, this is the only course of its kind in Australia and quite possibly worldwide— expertly facilitated by drum maker and percussionist, Matt Stonehouse. Participants gain insight into steam-bending timber shells, shaping the drums form with hand-tools such as planes, spoke shaves, shaping files and of course the cynosure of the hand-plane collection, the late 19th century compass plane. Brass or bronze zills are hand-hammered under Matt's skillful guidance before natural skins are selected, considered and finally fitted to the finished drum shells. The result is a magnificent sounding Zilli-Tar frame drum handcrafted by YOU! These courses sell out quickly. If you would like to be the first to know about up and coming courses, please scroll down the homepage and subscribe to our Newsletter For more information and bookings visit our Drum Making Courses page.

Handcraft your own ZilliTar in the frame drum making course
Handcraft your own ZilliTar in the frame drum making course


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