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Students Learn to Play and Appreciate the Djembe

28th Oct 2014

Students at Stanly Community College learned to work together by

playing djembe drums as part of a cultural event for Black History

Month. Photo by Shannon Beamon of the Stanly News and Press.

Late last month, students from Stanly Community College learned to play the djembe as part of the college’s last cultural event for Black History Month. Most of the students who attended had never even heard of the traditional African drum, but after seasoned djembe player Joe Sulkowski led them through easy rhythms and a few warm-ups, the students caught on quickly. They even started drumming on their own and, together, created a rhythm that permeated through the school’s walls.

The experience not only taught students how to play the djembe but opened them up to a new culture and showed them how hand drums can bring people together and create a sense of community. In fact, that was one of the traditional reasons djembes were used. According to event organizer Andell McCoy, the djembe and other African drums were used by African slaves to create a sense of community and to send messages to each other. Who knew you could learn so much from a simple hand drum?!

The best part? The college bought the set of 10 djembes used during the event. McCoy (and all of us at X8 Drums, of course) hope that djembe playing becomes a regular community activity for the students. We know from experience how powerful hand drumming can be for a community.

To learn more about the djembe or buy one or more for you and your students, office, or community, take a look at our Djembe Buying Guide.