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Professional Development

West African Drum and Dance Workshops for Teachers
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Workshops & Performances


Borenya: West African Drum & Dance partners with colleges, universities, school districts and arts organizations to offer innovative, hands-on continuing education courses and professional development workshops on techniques for teaching African drumming. Course content and length can be tailored to fit the needs of educators working in a wide range of classroom settings — from severe special needs to 12th grade honors music — ensuring an enriching and valuable experience for all.



Our curriculum focuses on the drumming traditions of the Malinke, Susu, and Fulani people of the Republic of Guinea, one of the richest African countries in music and dance. We collaborate with our clients to provide a solid framework for incorporating African drumming into the school music, dance, and history curricula.

Workshop topics include:

  • Traditional drum and bell technique for a round, full ensemble sound

  • Recitation of “drum language” using spoken syllables that help improve language skills and develop aural memory

  • Stepping and sticking exercises that use full-body kinesthetic learning to develop off-beat timing and greater comfort with polyrhythms

  • Traditional Malinke songs from Guinea that help students connect with a different culture through its native language

  • Integration with core curriculum that leverages music & dance to help bring other curricular areas to life

And like the drumming traditions we teach, our curriculum is not only highly structured, but spirited, fascinating…and fun!


Given the depth and richness of these musical traditions, as well as the variety of techniques we have for teaching them, there is no one-size-fits-all course offering. Instead, workshops and courses can vary depending on the following:

  • Desired length

  • Learning objectives

  • Number of units/credits participants will earn

Whether you are interested in a 2-hour workshop for your school district, a weeklong residency for your arts organization, or a summer-long course for your college or university we can design a thoughtful and engaging course package to meet all your needs.

Who We Serve
  • 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers looking for a way to spice up their general music classes

  • 9th-12th grade teachers wanting to design a new general music elective

  • K-5th grade teachers with an eye to a more multicultural curriculum

  • Any music educator looking for a fun and interesting way to grow professionally

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