World Music Inspires Teachers

Teachers drumming during the world music pedagogy workshop.
Teachers drumming during the world music pedagogy workshop.

Twenty teachers sit in a circle of chairs in the UW Music Building, each with a djembe — a goblet-shaped West African drum — in front of them. They focus intently on Thione Diop, a princely-looking artist-teacher who has joined them for 90 minutes of Wolof-style drumming from his native Senegal. 

Teachers learn West African drumming in a session led by Senegalese musician Thione Diop. 
Media credit: Skuli Gestsson

Diop, a master of djembe and other African percussion instruments, begins to slap, pat, and pound rhythms, first in a rush of sound and then in smaller bits. During his own silences, those small bits are played imitatively by the circle of drummers. After a nervous start, they are in sync. Diop then ...

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