Guinean rhythms - African Drumming classes in Toronto ON Canada
Group classes and private lessons in the GTA - We're a percussion school !
Promoting traditional music and culture of Guinea for over 10 years !
We are from Guinean West Africa - based in Toronto Canada
Classes for children
Children 14 years old and up will be attending the adult group classes.
Children under 14 years old may exceptionally be allowed to join
(Requires teacher's prior approval - Parental supervision may be required)
All drums are provided free of charge
Adult weekly classes:
We have new students joining every week.
$20 drop-in for a 1H30 minutes group class
Djembe drum available for free - Please reserve your Djembe in advance
Register for a group class's package in Toronto and save.
OR a free private introductory class (For Toronto adult classes only)
6 Adult group classes in Toronto (1.5 Hour) - ($90 Instead of $120)
9 Adult group classes in Toronto (1.5 Hour) - ($130 Instead of $180)
12 Adult group classes in Toronto (1.5 Hour) - ($170 Instead of $240)
15 Adult group classes in Toronto (1.5 Hour) - ($200 Instead of $300)
18 Adult group classes in Toronto (1.5 Hour) - ($235 Instead of $360)
Click to register and purchase one of the classes package
Contact us to book a private drumming lesson
Inquiries for weekly ongoing group
classes and individual private lessons
(The following form is only for individuals requesting classes information for themselves as an individual - Not for a group of people):
Please specify your drumming level, as well as the best time and method
for us to contact you (email or phone)
How did you hear about us:
Drumming class Inquiry details: (English or French)
All over West Africa, and in the world, the Republic of Guinea is known for its wide and rich tradition of percussion based music and dance. This is also one of the two countries in the heart of where the Djembe instrument originated from (Guinea / Mali region of today). Guinean rhythms are from Malinke, Soussou, Baga, Peul ethnic groups and more.
A Guinean traditional ensemble is usually composed of one to 3 double-sided drum players called Doundounfola, playing the Doundoumba, Sangban, and Kenkeni drums. It also includes a few Djembe players for accompaniment (Djembedefola), and one lead Djembe soloist player (Djembebafola), who follows the dancers steps with his solos. .
Other instruments are used in the modern version of orchestra, like the Balafon, the Kora, the Bolon, fula flute, shakers or the Krin .
Beginner, intermediate, and Intermediate/advanced players on the Doundoumba, Sangban, Kenkeni, Djembe, can attend without any particular prerequisites
(Adult Drop in classes). Beginners play basic rhythmic patterns in dedicated beginner's group classes, while intermediate and advanced players play more challenging arrangements in dedicated intermediate and advanced group classes.
Students periodically perform at various venues around the GTA.
Our Djembe teacher will lead you to playing various rhythm(s) in classes, that will be explained in detail, including the different pattern for each instrument (Doundounba, Sangban, Kenkeni, 1st Djembe, 2nd Djembe..).
Only Guinean and Mandingue rhythms are played in our classes.
If you think it is a little restrictive, there are hundreds of rhythms from Guinea alone, and many of them still known and played inside Guinea only.
Alpha's teaching method is focused on developing intuitive understanding of West African percussion music, and percussive music in general, with a strong focus on synchronization, as well as the basic playing techniques used in a Guinean West Africa drumming ensemble.
Alpha has had a unique exposure to both occidental and West African teaching methods, which allowed him to successfuly developed a simple and efficient teaching method for everyone.
Beyond the group classes, you will also have access to online instruction material, as well as private classes with a Djembe instructor.
The Doundoumba, Sangban and Kenkeni base drums are the and foundation of Guinea drumming, though unfortunately neglected by many North American hand drummers who only play the more popular Djembe. These double-sided drums are played in every group class together with Djembes.
Among many other benefits, attending these classes will help you to:
- Learn about Mandingue and Guinean culture / traditions in a fun and friendly environment.
- Relief daily stress.
- Improve listening skills and develop multi-tasking abilities:
- Improve concentration and the ability to focus.
- Improve short term memory.
- Develop Confidence.
- Improve left and right hand coordination and independence.
- Read and write simple percussion notation.
- Communicate without words or gestures.
- Discover the world of improvisation and soloing.
Whether you are a beginner drummer or an experienced Djembe player with little experience on the Doundoumba base drums, you'll get a chance to further develop your overall understanding of Guinean and Mandingue rhythms, tradition, and culture, through the practice of these traditional instruments in a fun environment.
By attending our classes, professional musicians playing a percussive or non percussive instrument will experience music in a way that will change them forever.
Piano players - Drum kit players, this is your chance to experience a different right/left hand independence/coordination to take your instrument playing to the next level.
Like any other musical and percussion instrument in the world, playing the Djembe drum requires instruction ....
My quote of the day:" Learning how to play the Djembe is like learning to type on a computer keyboard - You can still use the keyboard and get by, even though y've never been taught.
But no matter how long you've been using a computer, you will be limited, and will never type as fast, or be as comfortable/versatile as a secretary who learned the hands/fingers keyboard technique!"
Experienced Djembe players:
Do you want to take your Djembe hand playing technique to the next level?
Do you want to experience a higher level of musical interaction, and play more complex and challenging arrangements on the world's most famous hand drumming instrument?
Do you want to join a group that occasionally performs at venues around the GTA?
Have you been playing the Djembe in drum circles for some times, but you feel like you need to improve your playing technique to take it to the next level?
Our music school has many people like you in our Intermediate and advanced dedicated group classes.
Absolute beginners / beginners:
Do you want to start playing the Djembe, but feel intimidated, or don't really know where to start? Allow us to help you break the ice.
Have you been playing the Djembe or hand drums in a drum circle, but feel like you need dedicated instruction from a music school?
There are other people like you in our beginner's and intermediate dedicated group classes.
No prior experience is required.
Check out our dedicated group classes and join the best drumming class in Toronto - Allow us to introduce you to the world of Guinean percussion ensemble, and its almost endless variety of authentic rhythms passed along since the 13th century, played on the Djembe and various other percussion instruments.
Fun Interactive Djembe class group playing unlike drumming circle toronto GTA
Original Djembe playing ensemble which inspired the drumming circle
Fun drumming in a group with a different format than drumming circles
Discover how Djembe drum was played in a group centuries ago - drum circles
Playing the Djembe drum unlike in Drum circles toronto
learn how to play Djembe in a group unlike in drumming circles toronto G.T.A
G.T.A Drum circle toronto
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Fun Interactive Djembe lesson in group unlike drum circles toronto GTA
Original Drum playing ensemble which inspired the drum circles
Fun drumming in a group with a different format than drum circles
Discover how the Djembe drum was played in a group centuries ago - drumming circle
Playing the Djembe drum unlike in Drumming circle toronto
learn how to play the Djembe in a group unlike in drum circle toronto G.T.A
Drumming circle toronto G.T.A
Great Interactive hand drumming class group playing unlike drumming circle toronto GTA
Original Djembe playing ensemble which inspired today's drumming circle
Interactive drumming in a group with a different format than drum circles
Discover how Djembe drum was played in an ensemble 800 years ago - drum circles
Playing the Djembe drum unlike in Drum circles toronto
Discover the drumming ensemble - playing Djembe in a group unlike in drum circles toronto G.T.A
These classes will allow you to explore drumming complexity that cannot be reached with the drum circle
In order to achieve the goal of learning how to play the djembe through a djembe class.
A Djembe lesson is the best way to improve your level in Djembe percussion.
Learning Djembe through Djembe practice cannot be achieved in a drum circle.
Drum circles do not have the structure and complexity of a West African ensemble.
The drum circle and Djembe Jam though very popular do not allow you to grow and learn music.
Drumming circles are the one thing any beginner should avoid
The drum circle is a relatively new phenomenon inspired from the African djembe ensemble which uses Djembe drum unlike in drum circle which uses any drums.
Authentic Djembe or Professional Djembe is required to play in a djembe percussion ensemble.
You can find many djembe drums for sale on the market, and it’s not easy to choose which one to get. African Djembe drum among other instruments are widely used in drumming circles
And Djembe jam.
Best Djembe are Guinea Djembe without a doubt, and finding a djembe for sale is no easy task.
Learning to play cannot be achieved in drum circles with plastic or fiberglass djembe, and Djembe secrets will only be revealed through hard work with a real West African instructor face to face. Buy your authentic Djembe today and get started.
thousands of Djembe beats
Occasional children's classes:
Do you want to enroll your children in a music class program unlike any other in the G.T.A ? We have children's percussion classes that will expand the musical potential of your children in a way you never imagined. These classes could be a good complement to other instrument music classes your children are already enrolled in. No prior music experience is required. Read on for further information about the many benefits of Djembe drumming.
Djembe drums are not Bongo drums
Bongo drums and Djembe drums are very different drums
Bongos are two small drums not African though the term Bongo is mistakenly used
Most people misuse the name Bongo to designate a Djembe
African drums are not bongos
We have developed a detailed course with group level and online soundfiles / exercises using simple music notation for home practice between the music classes.
This web site also has a Drumming blog - Some of the main articles posted are:
The many benefits of Djembe drumming
Why you will never learn how to play the Djembe in a drum circle
Traditional Guinean percussion orchestra - playing basic
Learning how to play the Djembe drum
Beyond the “Doundoumba / Djembe” Guinean orchestra model
We're on Meetup:
If you are already a "Meetup" member, you can use it to notify us of your participation to each group class. Feel free to join us on "Meetup" and take advantage of our online drumming community.
RSVP/Join us on Meetup
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