photo: Irene Young
sailing through the air
Joyful, oh join us –
join in the dance
Movin’ your body,
Join in the circle
and let yourself fly…"
I want to use music to bridge the many cultures I experience. Around the world, music brings people and communities together, and I see myself as part of that joyful work. The music that resonates for me is not one simple style or genre – we need all sounds and textures. I believe that the more we listen, the more we bring new sound into being, the more power we have to build peaceful, purposeful lives together. I also derive inspiration for my music through nature and my wildlife photography. Music and nature both ground me into the present moment. Click here to visit my wildlife photography.
Debbie Fier’s love of her craft and enthusiasm for bringing new devotees into the circle of drummers are two reasons why I love taking her classes. The other reasons include her musicianship, her humor, her ability to “read” a group, and the fact that she brings me right to the heart of drumming, communication, and community. – A.U.
Debbie Fier brings over 40 years of experience to her life as a performing vocalist, drummer, pianist, composer, percussionist and teacher. She has performed throughout the U.S., as well as internationally in England and Germany. Her original compositions are available on four recordings — In Your Hands, Firelight, Coming Home and her latest recording project, Waterways. Debbie has spent over 25 years exploring voice in many contexts including western/classical vocal technique, music theory, ear training, improvisation, jazz, chanting and Indian raga singing. She spent years as a mentor and teacher in the Institute of Music, Health and Education, helping students learn how to use music and the voice for overall health. In the early 80’s, she studied piano with legendary pianist and master musician, Mary Lou Williams. For over 35 years, she has studied numerous drum and dance styles, including Middle Eastern, N. African, West African, and Afro-Cuban.
She teaches drumming, body percussion and rhythm to children and adults, encouraging everyone to find their individual and authentic voice through the music. She includes yoga, chi kung and meditation in her classes and workshops to encourage participants to experience body-centered learning. In the past 20 years, she has become known as the Heartbeat of the Service at Kehilla Community Synagogue in her role as a musical prayer leader, drummer and vocalist. Debbie has trained and taught extensively with Don Campbell, a leading teacher in the field of sound therapy. She has completed Mastery Level trainings through the Institute of Music, Health & Education. She is a member of the Piano Technicians Guild, and the American Orff-Shulwerk Association, an organization that teaches music to children. For over 40 years, she has tuned pianos for recording and performing artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Joan Armatrading, Sheila E. and Holly Near. Furthering her multi-instrumental artistry, Debbie most recently embraced playing and composing on the handpan. Based on the steel pan family, yet played with the hands rather than mallets, this beautiful, resonant sounding instrument is perfect for relaxation, meditation, and movement. Her latest recording, Waterways, showcases the handpan’s soothing sounds. Feel free to contact Debbie with questions, comments, or inquiries about teaching and/or performing.
You are so amazing! I can feel my brain being challenged and my soul being nourished! You pace the class so that everyone can learn at their own speed. Everyone who has wanted to learn to drum, but who has been anxious to try something new and different should join your drum classes! – M.R.
Debbie Fier has been a piano tuner and technician since 1980. She has done concert tuning for years, including tuning for artists such as Holly Near, Laura Nyro, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, Joan Armatrading, Sheila E., and others. In addition to tuning, she does repairs including fixing sticky keys, repairing broken and squeaky pedals, and repairing or replacing parts on all different types, styles, makes and models of pianos. She tunes in homes, schools, churches, performance venues and anywhere else that pianos live. Her clients include Dolby Labs, Berkeley Unified School District, DC Pianos and many, many musicians and piano teachers throughout the SF Bay Area. She returns calls promptly, shows up on time and ready to work, and completes jobs efficiently, counting on her many years of experience and expertise.
"Keeping the world in tune, one piano at a time!"
Debbie joins together her remarkable drumming skills, spiritual passion and strong leadership skills to create a moving and memorable service. – R.G.
Debbie Fier is the teacher I was looking for: A person whose passion for drumming equals her musical knowledge…I have felt welcomed and encouraged…never embarrassed. I always look forward to her classes. –H.W.