For chatting and discussions.
User avatar
By Dugafola
#10472
dununbabe wrote:HEY DUGA
did you ever mentioned that you passed the test? I was looking but didnt see .....
didn't you tell me you were working on my little piece of paper???

yes, i passed the test. i didn't break bill's record but it was rather painless. i think mabiba was stressing out way more than I was.
User avatar
By dununbabe
#10475
Dugafola wrote:
dununbabe wrote:HEY DUGA
did you ever mentioned that you passed the test? I was looking but didnt see .....
didn't you tell me you were working on my little piece of paper???

yes, i passed the test. i didn't break bill's record but it was rather painless. i think mabiba was stressing out way more than I was.
hee ha ha hee, yes I'm "working on it" its in a PILE of other chores and tasks I gotta keep up with for TTM, and Mamady, and Mo etc
:) will sooon . I can see it coming up to the top!
User avatar
By michi
#10479
30 freakin minutes. I was flabbergasted.
That sounds like he must have been extremely convincing! :)

Doesn't surprise me, really, having heard him play in San Diego. He's an outstanding player!

Cheers,

Michi.
By kostadjembe
#18199
Hey guys,

The TTM Certificate is definitely a very exiting prospect. I ve been thinking about it for a long time and trying to find a way how I could successfully complete that. I love the idea of the TTM schools and the framework that are based on. However, Mamady requires from his students/ ‘employees’ to contribute a great amount of time and dedication not only to obtain the certificate but to maintain certain TTM standards.

I have fallen in love with West African music, tradition and culture. However, I work full time and I am a father of 2 little girls. My priority of course is my family but I cant imagine myself without my djembe! My life would be empty.

So how is it possible for someone like me and many others to change our life in such a way so we can get this Certificate? At the moment I am finishing my Bachelor of Nursing externally, full time and I don’t think is as hard as the TTM Certificate…seriously! How many hours of studying and playing are required to nail all these rhythms? The amount of money you need to spend on lessons, materials and trips…

My biggest issue is what s happening after your certificate. How is this going to help you in meeting the TTM requirements? No one can guarantee stable income, or students or gigs. Saying that, you will become a better musician and teacher, you will enrich your knowledge of the traditions and culture…but do I need to do it under Mamady’s rules?

Like Michi said for us here down under its really hard because there aren’t any certified teachers. Classes are not on an advanced level and privates are unfordable! So we have to rely on self drive and patience. I have set my goal to get the TTM in the next 15 years…Four rhythms a year! That’s doesn’t sound that bad! I will only be 47…

Cheers
Kosta
User avatar
By michi
#18210
kostadjembe wrote:So how is it possible for someone like me and many others to change our life in such a way so we can get this Certificate? At the moment I am finishing my Bachelor of Nursing externally, full time and I don’t think is as hard as the TTM Certificate…seriously! How many hours of studying and playing are required to nail all these rhythms? The amount of money you need to spend on lessons, materials and trips…
It's a big commitment. For one, you need attend one of Mamady's camps in Guinea. For someone from Australia, that's an $8,000 exercise.

You also need to see Mamady in person. Obviously, you could do that by attending his Guinea camp, or you could come to San Diego in June (hint, hint ;) ) and attend Mamady's and Famoudou's camp. That way, you would meet Mamady and get his opinion on your playing skill, technique, and whether he thinks you would be ready to study for this.

Depending on the skill level you are at when you start, I'd say the minimum time to learn everything for the certificate is one year. But that really would be cramming it in. You need to learn the twelve solos. That's not too hard if you work on them regularly. The harder part is to memorize the 60 rhythms, being able to play every part and to regurgitate the cultural info for each rhythm. You also have to play the parts with the correct feel. In turn, that involves a lot of listening and research.

Also, the point is hardly to cram in the 60 rhythms. You should know the rhythms in the sense of being able to play them instantly and being able to sing the dundun melody, for example. In other words, ideally, "knowing" means to know a rhythm deeply, like you know a children's song, not knowing it in the sense of being able to dredge up each part after thinking hard about it. This requires time. Ideally, you would have played each rhythm for an extended period.

One way to learn these rhythms is to learn them yourself and then go and teach them. We typically spend 4-5 weeks on a rhythm in our classes and, having taught a rhythm for that length of time, I find that it is truly bedded down. We teach three classes a week, with a different rhythm for each class, so that's 3 rhythms every five weeks, or about 25-28 rhythms a year. That's a good way to keep making progress at a decent rate.
My biggest issue is what s happening after your certificate. How is this going to help you in meeting the TTM requirements? No one can guarantee stable income, or students or gigs. Saying that, you will become a better musician and teacher, you will enrich your knowledge of the traditions and culture…but do I need to do it under Mamady’s rules?
Once you have the certificate, Mamady wants you to use it, not hang it on your wall and do nothing more with it. With the certificate, you can call yourself a TTM certified teacher and use the TTM logo to promote your classes. In return, you are expected to actually do that, teaching the TTM program (rhythms and Mamady's techniques). I don't think you are expected to do this exclusively though. I believe you are also free to teach other rhythms or variations of the same rhythms that Mamady teaches. But Mamady wants you to both further the cause of TTM and to act as an ambassador for the Mandingue culture.

Once you have the certificate, you also have to commit to ongoing education by attending the workshop that follows the biannual TTM conference at least once every three years. If you don't do that, you lose the certificate again. So, getting the certificate really only makes sense if, after that, you are prepared to keep teaching and attending Mamady's workshops to keep learning. The certificate really isn't the goal, but the start along the path to something bigger. If you like, in some ways, the certificate is like just finishing your apprenticeship, and you are expected to become a journeyman after that. (If you get the certificate, I imagine that the first thing Mamady will tell you is that you now have to start working towards the diploma…)
Like Michi said for us here down under its really hard because there aren’t any certified teachers. Classes are not on an advanced level and privates are unfordable! So we have to rely on self drive and patience. I have set my goal to get the TTM in the next 15 years…Four rhythms a year! That’s doesn’t sound that bad! I will only be 47…
Whether you end up with the certificate eventually or not doesn't really matter. What matters is what you do along the path. If you work towards the certificate, you will become a better musician and get a better understanding of Mandingue culture. That in itself is worthwhile, certificate or no certificate.

And, yes, getting the certificate requires a big commitment in terms of time, effort, and money, especially if you live in Australia. I guess anyone Down Under who gets the certificate definitely has proven that they really mean it…

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By e2c
#18213
Call me a doubter, but... it's a lot of money, and a huge investment in terms of time.

For those who want to do it - and who can do it - I think that's great, and by all means, go for it!

But it's not the path for everyone, nor is it the only path to learning the music in a "deep" way. (I'm sure Mamady would be the 1st to say that, btw.)
User avatar
By michi
#18214
e2c wrote:Call me a doubter, but... it's a lot of money, and a huge investment in terms of time.
Well, as far as time is concerned, no surprise there, really. Whether I learn 60 rhythms in depth for Mamady's certificate or for any other purpose, it takes time to do that. The idea of the certificate is for people to achieve a certain level of competency, and competency won't happen without a large investment in time, whether there is a certificate at the end of that or not.

In terms of money, it would actually be possible to do this without spending tons of money. It isn't necessary to rock up to every Mini-Guinea camp that Mamady holds. You could just sit there and beaver away at the 60 rhythms and the 12 solos until you know them all. Sure, there are questions about handing for the solos, feel, and what not. But there are quite a few helpful people here on this board who can answer questions, and a fair bit of what people need to know for the certificate is available on Mamady's teaching materials. So far, not much money spent, but lots of time and effort.

Then, once you have the 60 and 12 more or less down, go to Guinea and do the camp with Mamady. That is expensive, especially for people from Australia because flights are so damn expensive (at least $3,500 to Guinea), plus the cost of the camp, vaccinations, visa, etc. But, to be honest, I do agree with Mamady on insisting that people have been to Africa before they get certified. I know how much I learned about the culture and the music on my trips, and I honestly believe that someone who claims to be a competent teacher of Mandingue rhythms should have spent some time there.

If you have studied diligently, and you take the time to talk to Mamady and other TTM teachers you meet at the Guinea camp, by the end of that, you should have a pretty good idea whether you are ready for the exam or not. Sitting the exam involves catching Mamady at one of his camps. Seeing that they are all over the place (USA, Europe, Asia), taking that trip is still not cheap, but considerably cheaper than going to Africa.

So, depending on where someone lives, they could do the entire thing for as little as $6000-$7000.
For those who want to do it - and who can do it - I think that's great, and by all means, go for it!

But it's not the path for everyone, nor is it the only path to learning the music in a "deep" way. (I'm sure Mamady would be the 1st to say that, btw.)
I agree, Mamady would almost certainly say that. But learning the music in a deep way will inevitably involve a huge investment in time and, just as inevitably, at least one trip to Africa. That costs money, like it or not.

Overall, I'd say that the certificate is expensive, yes. But the real cost isn't the certificate. It's the process of reaching the degree of competency that is demanded by the certificate. If I aim for the same level of competency without the certificate, I suspect I'll spend about the same in time and money.

Cheers,

Michi.
By kostadjembe
#18216
Well, as far as time is concerned, no surprise there, really. Whether I learn 60 rhythms in depth for Mamady's certificate or for any other purpose, it takes time to do that. The idea of the certificate is for people to achieve a certain level of competency, and competency won't happen without a large investment in time, whether there is a certificate at the end of that or not.
This is what I love about the whole TTM certificate. It is an initiative to work towards something. I am reaching a level of my musical journey that I need something to “drive me”. I am currently doing the teaching (working to have more intermediate students), I have tried with bands and done several different classes.

At the moment everything is just a big salad in my head because I have been influenced by so many different people. Of course that can be an advantage but in my case it has delayed my development. I want to focus on the Mandigue music and the TTM certificate at this stage is the only possible way for me.
So, depending on where someone lives, they could do the entire thing for as little as $6000-$7000.
Anyone who is seriously interested in this music sooner or later will spend this amount of money for his education. Obviously it wont happen over 1-2 years however the rewards of this are really worth it.

My plan is find someone who is also interested share some costs (learning material) and start the journey. It doesnt have to end with the certificate but the knowledge and the experience that you will gain trying is invaluable if you want to call yourself a djembefola.
Obviously, you could do that by attending his Guinea camp, or you could come to San Diego in June (hint, hint ;) ) and attend Mamady's and Famoudou's camp.
Mitchi I wish I could come to the States for the workshops but this year is just full on for me as I am completing my Nursing studies. However, in the future, workshops are a much more economical solution...and at the end of the day I can say to my wife "Lets get the kids and go to California for a month" it sounds much better than "Lets have our vaccinations and go to Guinea..."

Cheers
K
User avatar
By michi
#18229
e2c wrote:But ultimately, I think the certificate is a great goal for those who wish to teach the music as Mamady teaches it. And that's fine, but again... not for everyone.
Absolutely. And, fortunately, the exercise is entirely voluntary. People are allowed to play their djembes without a certificate ;)

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By e2c
#18236
:D

Last night I watched a two-part docu. on some of the folkloric music of Guinea... shot in various locations all over the country. And from that tiny bit (probably the 1/1000th of the iceberg that's visible above the water), I think.... we know next to nothing at all about the peoples of Guinea and the music of Guinea - only the most minuscule bit that a handful of teachers bring to us in the West.

I wonder if anyone is off trying to learn any of the other kinds of music that were represented in these films? I do have hopes, though I also have huge doubts. (There is a group here in the US called Fula Flute, and the non-African members have been taught a great deal of Fula music from the Fouta Jallon by the founders/leaders of the group, but still...)