Djembe: “Everyone gather together in peace”

 

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Djembe is a musical instrument from Africa specifically West Africa. Its name comes from the saying “Anke djé, anke bé” which means “everyone gather together in peace”.

When my colleagues told me that we would learn playing African instrument on Teacher’s Day, I was not happy. I was like “Playing musical instrument on a Teacher’s Day? For real?”

I didn’t know that learning and playing this instrument was beyond the definition of “fun”! We took 2.5 hours learning and playing the instrument, but we (or at least I) didn’t feel the time at all… I wanted to play more! It was that fun!

Our trainer told us that playing djembe involves three components: technique, time and feeling. Technique is how to hit the drum. Bom is using the right hand while Gu is using the left hand to hit the centre of the drum. Pa is using the right hand while Ta is using the left hand to hit the bottom edge of the drum. Time involves 8 counts and 1, 3, 5 and 7 has the stress. Lastly, feeling is listening to the sound and knowing the beat or rhythm based on your feeling.

It was extremely enjoyable to play djembe and I wouldn’t mind doing it over and over again!

I highly recommend for your company to consider African drumming as one of your team building activities. Kelvin, the founder of Djembe Singapore Club, is the one facilitating this course. He is a good teacher. He will teach you the foundation in playing djembe, and at the same time, stressing with you the essence of working as a team.

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