I am Vaughan Harris and I have spent 19 years teaching new drummers the initial building blocks of how to play Djembe.
I will be assisted during this course by Nevil Morham who has studied with me since February 2007.
In order to stay in step with our ever-shifting world I have streamlined the manner in which I teach and share my West African drum knowledge.
I offer 2 distinctive drumming classes, the first drum class which this email encompasses, is the Foundations of Djembe class. This is a 6-month intensive course which is about the laying of a solid groundwork for anyone that would like to become more comfortable and proficient on their Djembe.
This course is open to everyone, no matter your experience level. Invaluable Djembe knowledge will be shared in this class and with practice, your comfort level will skyrocket.
Playing a drum enhances neural development: When we use both hands in an activity then both hemispheres of the brain are exercised, creating increased neural activity and growth of the neural linkages. Drumming is also the easiest way for anyone to play and become part of communal music and the level of joy experienced by those drumming is immeasurable.
When drumming together in a group for as little as 15 minutes a palpable energy and mood shift is experienced.
Course details and particulars:
Booking: You can enroll by either responding to this mail or by messaging 084 370 8813.
Date: The first lesson will be held on Saturday 17 October 2020.
Course duration: The course lasts for 6 months starting in October 2020 and concluding in March 2021. Once you have completed this course you will have the option of joining the ‘Joy of Drumming’ group who generally meet on the first Saturday of every month.
Future lesson dates – The lessons take place one Saturday per month. The ‘Foundations of Djembe’ group generally meet on the 2nd Saturday of every month, public holidays permitting. A lesson schedule will be sent to you once you’ve booked and confirmed.
Time and duration: Lessons are 4 hours long (with hourly breaks), starting at 9am sharp and ending at 1pm.
Venue: Lessons are held at the Unity College in Chartwell North. This venue has a variety of outdoor spaces for drumming allowing us to drum in all weather conditions. Once you have booked & confirmed then directions to the venue will be mailed to you.
Fee: R500 per monthly lesson
Covid protocols: On arriving at the lesson a mask must be worn. During the lesson masks can be removed. The class will be separated into 2 groups, those that wear masks and those that don’t. All mask wearing choices are respected. During breaks masks must be worn. Hand sanitiser will be available.
The lessons include:
- Extensive and ongoing Djembe hand technique instruction.
- Many various rhythms and multi-part ensembles (West African, Southern African, Middle Eastern and others).
- A sacred approach to drums and drumming.
- The opportunity to play and learn about other percussion instruments like bass drums, cow bells (Agogo’s) and shakers (Caxixi & Shekere) etc.
- Rhythm and percussion activities.
- Drum rhythm notation and notes.
- Many hours of laughter and lightness during the sometimes challenging but always rewarding learning experience.
What you’ll need for the lessons:
- A Djembe drum, your own or borrowed.
- Liquid refreshments and snacks to keep up your energy levels. Tea, coffee, water and snacks are for sale at the lessons.
About Djembe drums:
- If you already have a drum and would like it tuned or inspected before the first lesson then we can arrange that.
- Drums supplied by Craig Willis of Unity Drum Sound will be on sale at the first lesson, these drums will have been tuned and serviced to a high level.
- Prices range from R1000 to R4500 depending on the drum size, style and country of origin. The standard adult sized drum costs between R2500 and R3500.
- If you’re buying a drum then you can either make an appointment to view the current stock before your first lesson or purchase one at the first lesson. Either way, please let me know so that we can ensure sufficient stock availability.
- Please be careful when buying drums at markets. Cheaper drums are available at markets but the quality and condition is highly variable. It is important to note that the merchants at the markets are not drummers and their opinion of a good drum is often misleading.
Owning your own drum will enable you to develop your skills through practising at home or playing at drum circles and, in my experience, those students that spend time thinking about and playing the rhythms raise their skill level and enjoyment of this amazing instrument quickly.