When people visit the Isthmus Instruments workshop, one of the first things they often ask is “Do you teach lessons on how to play the handpan?" Fortunately, we can answer "Yes", and we want to offer a variety of ways to help you learn and enjoy your instrument.
1) Workshops & Retreats - The first small scale midwest handpan gathering will be hosted by Isthmus Instruments in Madison, WI. It will include Beginner & Intermediate handpan playing workshops. Register for event in May 2017 by clicking HERE. Stay tuned for the 2018 retreat location & announcement...
2) Lessons - If you live in the Madison, Wisconsin area and travel to the Isthmus Instruments Workshop to purchase an instrument, we are happy to offer one free introductory lesson with long-time handpan player Shlomo Calvo to help you get started with your instrument. Just ask us to learn more. We will also share with you our 2-part beginner's approach during your visit:
a. Developing the touch- Admittedly, the most difficult thing about playing a handpan for the first time is learning how to touch the notes quickly for best resonance. We will introduce you to the techniques we use on your first visit.
b. Learn your scale - With a sense of touch beginning, working the scale up and down and with constant left-right hand alternations will develop: fine motor control, spatial awareness & rhythm coordination, patience, ear sensitivity & dynamic control. These two steps are foundations for all your future playing!
3) Other Resources- Free handpan lesson options can be found by simply searching for them on Youtube. For some more at length programs, we like these DVDs by Colin Foulke & David Kuckermann. We also learned of a new program offered by David Charrier that is available as an online course, with some great reviews.