Get Rhythm – Percussion Workshops with Michael Barker

About Michael Barker

Musician, Composer, Recording Producer/Engineer and Educator

Michael began playing drums around age 10. As a teen he played with various cover bands in Rotorua until 1985 when he moved to Melbourne Australia and began orchestral percussion studies at Box Hill College of TAFE. Two years of drum and percussion tuition under Bruce Barber set Michael on his way to study Orchestral and solo percussion repertoire at The Victorian College of the Arts under the tutelage of Barry Quinn.

Barker’s unique drum and percussion style has seen him record and tour with prominent contemporary recording artists such as – The John Butler Trio, Neil and Tim Finn respectively,Split Enz, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga, The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Tap Dogs, Cats, Jerry’s Girls, Evita,Toni Childs, Kasey Chambers, Missy Higgins, Alex Lloyd, Vika and Linda Bull, The Black Sorrows, Deborah Conway, Christine Anu, Big Pig, David Bridie and My Friend The Chocolate Cake.

On Michael’s relocation from Melbourne to Rotorua in 2010 he formed the band Swamp Thing and built Twisty Pole recording studio on the northern shore of Lake Rotorua. It is here that Maisey Rika’s highly acclaimed NZ number one album ‘ Whitiora ‘ was recorded. Other NZ & International artist also to record with Michael at Twisty Pole are Tim Finn, Guy Pierce, David Bridie, Moana Maniapoto, Howard Morrison jnr, Rob Ruha, Minnie Marks and his own band Swamp Thing.

In 2019 Michael was commissioned by Destination Rotorua & King Street Agency to compose music for a short promotional film on Rotorua

In addition to being a working musician & composor Michael is also a studio engineer, recording producer and a passionate music educator & drum/percussion clinician holding workshops regularly in NZ and Australia.

Course Overview

Lifetime music professional Michael Barker will guide and tutor you to play arrangements of popular tunes arranged for percussion ensemble.
Music in motion, hands on learning through group percussion workshops.
Learn percussive techniques and skills to play a myriad of percussion instruments.
Reading music not essential.
A fantastic opportunity for whānau members to get together for some connection through percussion. Discounts for 2 or more family members apply.

Timetable and Enrolment


Term 2 2022
Start: 7th May
Finish: 2nd July
NB No sessions on 25th June (Matariki Weekend) 


Scots College Creative and Performing Arts Centre Music Rooms


Michael Barker

Target Market

All ages from 7 years- Adults

(incl GST)

$178.00 for 8 sessions




Our Location

Rātā Studios
Based at Scots College
1 Monorgan Road
Wellington 6022
Rātā Studios
Based at Scots College
PO Box 15064
Wellington 6243