Handpan Lessons - How to play Handpan for Beginners


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- We host an annual handpan gathering in Madison, WI. Our attendees drive here from all over the midwest! We are happy to provide a limited number of instruments, in order to introduce people to the handpan. Additionally, we are proud to have hosted workshops with some great handpan players and teachers such as Jeremy Ardnt, Shirin Leela, Mark D’Ambrosio, Maxwell Edison Johnson and Tony Meister.

2) Introduction lesson for new customers - 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) Free Video Tutorials - Find our free introductory handpan tutorials here, by subscribing to our youtube channel . When you subscribe you’ll be notified when we add new videos!

4) Other Resources-  For some more at length programs, check out Peter Levitov’s Handpan 360 course and David Charrier’s Master the handpan course. Also David Kuckermann’s course, and these joint DVDs by Colin Foulke & David Kuckermann.