Teacher Bios


Rendra Freestone – Taiko Fitness, Djembe 2 & Taiko 3

Ren funny pic

Rendra is an enigmatic, wacky and committed teacher. He loves rhythm and anyone who shares the interest – even if only for one class. Rendra has run some of the largest drumming events in Australia and is in demand as a drum circle facilitator running drumming at events including Splendour in the Grass, Peats Ridge Festival and Woodford Folk Festival.
Director of Australian based Indo Pacific Groove phenomena ‘Rhythm Hunters’ and founder of The Rhythm Hut, Rendra has taught and performed cultural shows in every Australian state, tours internationally and thoroughly enjoys the rhythmic process

Activities at The Rhythm Hut include:

  • Teaching Djembe 2 & Taiko 3 classes
  • Giving Private Drumming Lessons
  • Runs The School Incursion Programs
  • Team Building Facilitation
  • Fixes Broken Drums (Re- Skinning)
  • Conducts Rhythm Hunters Scholarship Programs

Musical education includes study in Indonesia, Africa and Japan.

Tim Wong – Taiko 1 and taiko 2Tim funny pic

Whilst in high school, Tim began learning guitar from a friend. One day he went to his friend’s place where another friend had left his drum kit… and Tim jumped behind it. After 5 minutes, he was hooked and just a week later he had bought  first kit!

Tim had been playing for about 2 years when another friend told him about his new band and that they were looking for a lead guitarist and drummer. The guitarist Tim was playing with at that time was keen, so having nothing better to do, he agreed and they auditioned as a pair.

8 years later, Tim had to step down from permanent drumming duty. He spent a few years doing session work, working as a roadie and lighting and drum technician with a couple of other bands before taking a couple of years off when he and his wife had kids.

But the itch needed scratching and having always been curious, Tim  went searching for taiko classes. Suitable classes were rare and expensive in Sydney, but when he moved back to the coast, Tim came across the Rhythm Hut. He stayed in Taiko 1 for about 3 years, with short interludes of djembe with Luke and time keeping.

Tim has now been a student of Taiko 2 for about 2 years and this is his third term of teaching Taiko 1.

Ian Hakker – Didgeridoo

Ian taughtIan nice pic beginners & advanced levels of Didgeridoo in The Netherlands, Belgium & Germany for many years before returning to Australia in 2004.

Connected with The Rhythm Hut since 2005, he has played with Rhythm Hunters and also in The 5 Lands Band.

Ian has a true passion for this unique instrument & a deep respect for it’s origin from our own Aboriginal people. He absolutely loves teaching and using the Didgeridoo as an instrument for Sound Healing.
Ian’s Didge classes are very informative, relaxed and fun.


Heath Kelly – The Art of TaikoHeath

Heath found The Rhythm Hut after being told by a friend that it was fun place to hang out with good people and good music. :)

He started learning Taiko 5 years ago and immediately fell in love with the discipline of the movement. Heath particularly enjoys the fitness and martial arts aspects of Taiko.

Heath has been teaching Taiko Fitness and Taiko Form for 2 years and loves passing on the skills that he has learned as a student.

Heath’s class lass caters to all skill levels with a focus on correct form.


Denise’s O’Shea – UkuleleDenise funny pic

Denise been running the ukulele group for about four years now.  It started, accidentally, after some fellow student drummers had a bit of time in between lessons.  They decided to learn to play ukulele together!

Gradually the group branched out and decided to invite others to join. They were self- taught and learned from each other. The class has come a long way since then and remains a fun, low-pressure way to learn.
Denise’s uke group “The Ukudelics” have been part of a number of local festivals and organisations such Rise Up, Gosford Dog Paws, Ecoburbia and The Central Coast Ukulele Festival.
Denise is proudly involved in the Rhythm Hut as a djembe student, a board member, volunteer and general cheer squad member.


Sandy Bigara- Community ChoirSandy BIgara PR 2016

Sandy Bigara is an experienced performing artist on the Central Coast – Sandy has been an active vocal coach since 1999, she was the Artistic Director and Conductor of multiple choirs (High School, Senior Primary and Junior Primary, as well as being assistant Conductor for the KZN National Choir on their international tour in 1999) and was Music & Drama teacher at two schools in South Africa before launching her Arts company full time in 2008.

Sandy teaches the Bel Canto method of singing, which serves as a platform for multiple genres of performance. Sandy has trained Pop singers, Idols contestants, Jazz singers, Afro-Pop singers, a performer for The Phantom of the Opera (Raoul and the Phantom) as well as Starlight Express and South Africa’s “Troy” in the High School Musical national touring show. Sandy has even trained a grunge rock singer with one working ear drum…

The methodology that is taught, is a well-structured mash-up of lessons and courses that Sandy has experienced and developed in her twenty year professional singing career. Having trained and worked alongside some of the Southern Hemispheres greatest talents – 6 years performing under the baton of Gerard’d DuToit, musical ambassador to the Northern Hemisphere – World Choir Games, Operatic training with Marc Poupard (UKZN Music Coach) and Coleen Philp (UKZN Opera School) and master class with Emma Renzi, Sandy has many anecdotes and life experiences that make her classes both educational and interesting.

You can hear Sandy perform at www.reverbnation.com/sandybigara or visit her website www.sandybigara.com for her full working history.

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