Alister Mackinnon

  • DrumBeat certified
  • B.App.Sci

Djembe, djun djun, bell / African & world rhythms


Flexible drumming workshops are available for individuals, schools or group sessions in Launceston and surrounding regions. 

Drumming teacher is DrumBeat certified, with over 10 years experience performing with Jon Hizzard & Nick Hill & the Road Kill Drummers  / Island Drummers at festivals & events statewide and interstate.

Workshops are fun & relaxed & explore a range of fast & slow rhythms - from Africa & around the world. There are also opportunities to create great original rhythms on the spot!

Percussion instruments used can include djembe, djun-djun, bell & clap sticks, plus other drums depending on availability.

Great for beginners, intermediate enthusiasts, musicians, group facilitation, team building as well as school / youth groups and corporate teams.


Alister is also available to perform solo or with other skilled drummers including Jon Hizzard (from Flinders Island), Nick Hill, Eduar Arrieta and others at any private or public location, event or festival.

Please ask any time if you have any questions.

A sample of a performance & rhythms that can be taught can be listened to at:

Documented Medical Benefits of Drumming
Blood samples from participants of an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal of the hormonal stress response and an increase in natural killer cell activity (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1). 

Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study with 30 depressed people over 80 years of age and found that participants in a weekly music therapy group were less anxious, less distressed and had higher self-esteem (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994). 

Subjects who participated in a clinical trial using the HealthRhythms protocol showed an increase in natural killer cell activity and an enhanced immune system. While this does not indicate a cure for cancer, such results may be of benefit for those facing this disease. (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1). 

Alzheimer’s Disease:
According to Clair, Bernstein and Johnson (1995), Alzheimer’s patients who drum can connect better with loved ones. The predictability of rhythm may provide the framework for repetitive responses that make few cognitive demands on people with dementia. 

Parkinson’s Diseases and Stroke:
Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, according to Michael Thaurt, director of Colorado State University’s Center of Biomedical Research in Music. Researchers have also discovered that hearing slow, steady rhythms, such as drumbeats, helps Parkinson patients move more steadily (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994). 

Chronic Pain:
Chronic pain has a devastating propensity for progressively draining quality of life. Technology and pharmacology are falling short of the mark needed to improve quality of life and reduce pain, according to Dr. Barry Bittman in the Pain Practitioner. (Lingerman, H. 1995, Music and You. In the Healing Energies of Music. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House).
Launceston, TAS
Travelling in the local area
0428 922 210


More Information

Details last updated on April 18, 2019