A place for teachers to discuss issues to do with teaching
djembefeeling wrote:
so this experience has been composite again. and, thats the best part, I got them on the hook, they want a follow up. now that they know how rich this material is, they want to get through to the real music...
i'm glad that you got the participants excited for more. good luck with your next advanced-level workshop.

I think these terms are only useful when trying to group people of a similar level. To that extent it's always relative. Levels in "advanced" classes at the various drum festivals vary as a function of who's at the festival.

Let's face it, to even play a basic accompaniment beautifully with nice sounds is more advanced than most non-africans can manage!
There's another criteria following how to spot and advanced player from an intermediate or beginner.

IMO in order to be considered a "player" you must know the basics like stay in tempo. :uglynerd:

For a begginner you must know some cultural background (i.e. know where this comes from and how is it called, know some rhythms and its meanings etc.) :afro:

For intermediate, you know rhythms, can play to dance, know solos and play often. :rasta:

Ask any player who fills the intermediate criteria to show muscles :flex: , I mean, only a few cases like Weedie Braimah are a little overweight and still advanced players, and IMHO to be an advanced player you must have it all, knowledge, stamina, swing, culture, muscles don't lie! you have to play fast, strong and long to build and cut your muscles, a djembefola or dununfola :dundun: is not similar to a bodybuilder in any sense, a djembefola body is a djembefola body :djembe: , strong arms and shoulders, sharp cuts on the chest, developed abdomen (not a six pack but strenght in the zone) and the back of Hércules or hulk depending on your favorite wood :lol: .

This criteria applies to girls in dance too :mrgreen:

just adding something to the equation guys, sharing my toughts :D

Sorry for my poor english, Saludos!
I went to a drum festival a few years ago called African Beats Camp (ABC) where they decided to allocate people to one of 4 levels based on a kind of group audition. It ran a bit like a workshop with accompaniments being given out and then solo phrases. The djembefola gave out tickets to people with a number on them allocating them to a particular group.

As you can imagine this caused quite a bit of controversy and led to some very bruised egos. The thing is the djembefolas got it absolutely right of course. If your can't get decent sounds, play all of the main accompaniments and standard type solo phrases in time then you're not going to get in the top group. Thus one of my students got in the top group while someone who had been playing for about 8 years got in the group below. It didn't go down well. It was a real eye-opener for a lot of people.

Personally I thought it was brilliant because it meant that everyone in a group was within a certain range of ability. I hate paying a lot of money to go to an intermediate or advanced session only to have people who can't play holding it back. I think all drumming events should be like this.

Mamady used to split his groups into two as well, based on what he observed during the first session. Some bruised egos there as well, each and every time.

I remember when, after three years of playing or so and when I though I was shit-hot, I got put in my place very firmly by Epizo. (He isn't exactly the world's best diplomat.) I bit my tongue, and accepted it, even though I didn't like it. (Who likes it when they are forced to find out that they are not as good at something as they thought?) I figured that, if one of the world's best djembe players tells me something, there is every chance that he's right. And, if someone as good as that is willing to spend his time teaching me, I had better be grateful than critical.

Humility and patience are two of the lessons the djembe taught me. Respect for my elders (musically speaking) is another one…