Class Descriptions: Afia Walking Tree

1) Advanced Djembe Fevah™ – West African Djembe*
*Course Prerequisite: This course is for Intermediate and Advanced students only.

Djembe has so many dynamic parts to playing like a pro! Excel in your Djembe playing with body postures (sitting and standing), rhythm placement, introductions, accompaniments, and “Soulos.” Fine-tune specific hand techniques, rolls, flams and ambidextrous playing. Practice drumming techniques for dance classes and develop endurance, focus, intensity, sensitivity, posturing, dynamics, speed and expressive passion. Explore the lineage and role of the Djembe within the context of our culture, the orchestra, the dance, and in relation to the Dunun as we play traditional rhythms from Guinea and contemporary “Walking Tree” rhythms. Revitalize and connect to the power of drumming as we break through fears of playing from our authentic selves within the safety and collective holding of our community. Bring a strap if you are able to wear your Djembe. We will also quickly tune drums that are out of tune as well.

2) All Level Dunun Orchestra
Dununs carry the heartbeat of West African rhythms. Their dynamic tones from Dununbah, Sangbah, and Kenkeni with corresponding bells, carry so much magic. Learn how to sing and dance with your Dunun. Learn ballet and village styles of playing, improve your technique while playing in a chorus of three dunun parts. Explore the lineage and role of the Dunun within the context of West African culture, the drum orchestra, the dance, and in relation to the Djembe as we play traditional rhythms from Guinea and contemporary “Walking Tree” rhythms. Bring a Dunun or a conga to play with sticks.

3) Gourd Song Shekere
All levels welcome. 10-15 naked gourd and shekeres available on a first come, first served basis.

At 24years old, when I received Shekere as a birthday gift, I began playing instinctually and never stopped! Since then, I have played Shekere in bands, ensembles, dance classes and has taught the making and playing of it. Over the years I designed a technique of playing and teaching Shekere that allows for easy integration of this very complex instrument, and have hand-crafted over 300 Walking Tree brand shekeres for musicians all over the world. Learn the basic rhythmic technique of this exquisite uplifting instrument, sing and play shekere-lingo, and practice top and bottom-hand techniques that are essential to mastering Shekere. The Shekere is a wonderful accompaniment instrument that is a great skill for budding musical enthusiasts to have in your repertoire, and for those who have already mastered other drums. Join us for this exciting gourd song feast!

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