By Marian Appiah-Kubi

On Monday’s session, campers got to read about and discuss the history of the djembe, the drum featured in this elective class; watch videos of drum circles in several countries, including Mali, Japan, and the U.S., that feature the djembe; and decorate the eight djembes available for their use in red, gold, and green yarn to reflect the colors of Mali, the country from which the drum originated. Wednesday was the fun day! That session began with a brief intro to drum circle etiquette, including how to hold the djembe when playing it and generate low and high tones from it, as well as the necessity of staying with the circle and using their ears AND eyes to help keep the rhythm going and introduce counter-rhythms that complement the rhythms already in play. By the end of the session, many campers’ palms and forearms were sore, but they seemed proud of themselves for staying with the group and taking risks to introduce rhythms and counter-rhythms for the group to jam along to!