Session with Roy

 Today, I met percussionist Rodger Roy Joseph via his drumming demo on zoom. I, along with about ten or twelve others, were the sample “participants.” Up till this point, I have never conducted a session online before. Conducting a drumming session online for special needs students had two major difficulties. Firstly, students wouldn’t have any actual drums to play with at home. Lots of improvisation would be needed to make those sessions successful. Secondly, engaging the students would be difficult as there would be no face-to-face contact. Seeing Roy conduct a session online for us was a breath of fresh air. 

Roy started his session by telling us to grab any hard surface, which would be the “drum” for the session. I chose to grab my school Chemistry textbook. Together, we started drumming along to his little chant “How’re You’re Doing!” Despite the slight lags here and there, and even some unmuted participants (I was one of them), I was pretty amazed at our ability to form a mini-percussion ensemble and have a good time on a calm Tuesday evening. Seeing Roy’s great enthusiasm for this subject, it was no surprise when I contacted him later to find out he already has had much experience drumming with special needs students. 

Here are several characteristics of his leadership I learned from when watching his demo: 

Charisma – Roy exhibited passion and exuded lots of energy when leading his demo. He seemed like he was genuinely interested in us having a great time. 

Patience – Since this was the first time we learned his exercises, we made a mistake in not entering correctly the first time we played together. He was patient in the sense that he was able to clarify instructions for us to understand better. 

Flexibility – Even though an online session wasn’t ideal, he was still able to develop a solid agenda for an online session. 

View more of his work via this link: 

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