Frank Thompson first stumbled upon what would become his life’s work and passion—drumming—at an outdoor festival in San Diego 35 years ago.
Soon after, Thompson quit his job in the corporate world to devote himself full-time to the art and to teach others, including in the West African tradition of hand drumming.
Thompson’s virtual jam sessions for AARP Arizona are free and open to people of all skill levels. No musical experience is required. You don’t even have to own a drum. Thompson has taught individuals to find a beat using everything from bowls and frying pans to wooden spoons and water bottles.
“My passion is building community through hand drumming,” says Thompson, 63.
Currently, the classes are online because of the coronavirus pandemic, though AARP Arizona looks forward to resuming in-person lessons when it’s safe.
Ready to find your own rhythm?
The virtual sessions are typically held on Wednesdays or Saturdays. For dates and times, call Brenda Holt at 602-262-5162 or go to aarp.org/phoenix/events.
The site also includes a listing of other AARP Arizona online events, such as yoga classes, historical tours and talks by local artists, as well as discussions on caregiving, retirement and more.
—James E. Garcia