The West African Music Project is in full swing with new members learning both djembe and dun duns. We have four rhythm sets to learn and each with it’s own arrangement, where students get a chance to show what they have learned and play together as group.
It has been very exciting time learning about the origins of these rhythms and the people who first played them and the context that they were played in. In Africa, it appears that no rhythm is ever played for no reason as there is a long tradition of ritual and ceremony associated with each one such as a “coming of age” ceremony or harvest ritual.
We went though quite a few versions of arrangements and drum patterns before we were sure we had the “authentic” one. Thanks to all our friends and fellow teachers who helped with the research.
The video and booklet tuition aids are almost ready with only 3 live performances of our arrangements to film. Student have been working hard learning the notation system and working with the material, which has been specially adapted for beginners.
We will soon be able to offer this complete system for learning to all our new members, for them to use in their study and practice it home.
This will certainly help make more confident drummers and allow us to expand our teaching of new material in the future.