Dan Johnston Pad and Samba Sessions

Dan Johnston voted Instrumental Teacher of the Year at this year’s Music and Drama Education Awards in London, has been playing drums for over 30 years and teaching for 17 years. He loves sharing his passion for music and all things percussive with 100s of students of all ages.

Put forward by Sheffield Music Hub, where he works, Dan was nominated for the award, due to “his commitment to musical inclusion, developing the amazing Sheffield Youth Samba Band and working tirelessly to break down musical, social and cultural barriers.”

Dan will share his passion and enthusiasm for learning at this year’s UK Drum Show through his Pad Sessions and Samba classes.

Pad Sessions began during lockdown in 2020, initially online, and now Dan regularly delivers these popular session face to face every week. Aimed at beginner to intermediate players at this year’s UK Drum Show, these group sessions develop and encourage:

  • fun!
  • listening
  • posture
  • grip
  • control
  • rebound
  • technique
  • independence
  • interdependence
  • mental agility
  • mental agility
  • timing
  • subdivision
  • accents
  • ghost notes
  • dynamics
  • repertoire
  • form
  • vocabulary
  • team work

Dan says “I believe we teach what we need to learn. I’m mostly self-taught so I’ve always enjoyed focusing on the basics. No one showed me, I wish they had, so I love sharing the knowledge I’ve gained.”

Samba sessions are open to anyone of any level. They are energetic, noisy, and fun group sessions with something for everyone, no matter what their ability or age. You’ll have the opportunity to try out different instruments and styles.

Big drums, little drums, bells, complex patterns, simple patterns, from reggae to hip hop and all working and playing together! What’s not to like?!

“It’s such a vibrant and inclusive environment. I feel a responsibility to share this with players and teachers alike. I’d be happy to share all my resources, and what knowledge I have, with anyone who wants to start up Samba in their community. Come along and help me spread the joy of Samba!” Dan Johnston.



11:30 – 12:00 Pad Session 1
13:00 – 13:30 Pad Session 2
15:00 – 15:45 Samba Session


11:30 – 12:00 Pad Session 1
13:00pm – 13:30 Pad Session 2
15:00 – 15:45 Samba Session