University Level Courses

University Partners:

  • Artemis Institute
  • California Institute of Integral Studies
  • California State University - Monteray
  • Evergreen State College
  • Hetrick Martin Institute
  • Institute for Transpersonal Psychology
  • Lambeth College
  • Lehman College Literary Institute
  • New College of California
  • St. Mary's College
  • University of California San Francisco
  • University of California Santa Barbara
  • University of California Santa Cruz
  • Vassar College
EMBODIED HEALING: AFRAKAN DIASPORIC DRUM, SONG, STORY

In this course, we contextualize the source of healing traditions of Afraka, and make direct links to why today Afrakan Drums  are urgently becoming the “go-to” vibrational medicine for the heart and soul of people across the globe. Our ancestral rhythmic, percussive and movement legacies in ancient kingdom of Nubia, around 3,100 BC and Kemet (now Egypt) paved the way for what we threw away for centuries and are now reaching for in search for a global connective tissue. Through remembering our human history based in Afrakan cosmologies, metaphysics, drum rhythms, movement, chants, village circle protocol, & ancestral legacies told through our stories, we build collective trust and find the embodied healing we humans seek in our lives on planet earth today.

Globally, African Diasporic Drumming holds the ecological immensity to be a truly encapsulating cauldron for our healing intra-ethno-cultural wounds and inter-generational violence as a species.

We look at the rhythmic nature of ancient womyn leaders considered goddesses and inquire about how they might guide us into right undefended actions through use of drumming as therapy, grief support, communication, stress release, energetic activation.  Depending upon the environment, we co-create a Micro Village environment and through guided through embodied hands-on explorations, together we re-create and discover elements of indigenous (earth-based) traditional and contemporary percussive rhythm and movement, aided by call and response chants that support the connection of body, mind, and spirit.

From this embodied place, each person has the opportunity to discover entryways for connection, collaboration, and creativity.  The goal of the course is to bring clarity towards how each of US might utilize these tools in creating sustainable, renewable, diversity based upon honorable earth-based indigenous principles and practices founded in Ancient Afrakan Cosmology.  Could it be that Afraka leads the way in the next cultural development of our species through popularization of coded rhythms that evoke harmony in our collective consciousness, led by womyn? Come find your voice as we re-claim, re-member, re-invent our cultural legacies! Instruments and Tools Provided.

What to Bring:

Journal, Pens, Computer for taking notes as needed, comfortable clothing that you can move in, sacred item for the alter, gift item (wrapped) to share, your intentions for the journey, an open heart-mind

 

Prerequisites:  

No prior drumming or musical experience necessary; Deep interest in taking the next leap into living in your ancestral and current body

Educational Focus

  1. To provide an embodied experience of African Percussive systems that focuses on the immense healing resonant in drumming, singing, and dancing, as well as somatic processes.

2.  To hone a synthesis of intellect and spirit that is profoundly present in spiritual practice and music making.

Learning Objectives:

When this course is complete, the student will be able to:

  1. Create sacred drumming sanctuary for embodied healing for ourselves and our planet
  1. Process and connect with the ethno-musicological and historical context of the African drum in the Americas
  1. Connect with the drumarts and use it as an instrument for embodying personal intention
  1. Experience connection, collaboration, and create a vibrational healing vehicle in a public setting
  1. Play traditional and contemporary drum songs, practice specific movements that enhance embodiment, and apply breathing techniques that heightens vibrational frequencies

Participation Guidelines:

  • Attendance of entire two-day course is necessary to receive the full credit
  • Completion of assignments (2 response papers (before and during class); drumsong presentation; final integrative writing/audio/visual journey)
  • Drum journal (Consistent journaling, and note-taking of process throughout the course)
  • Drum or percussive instruments (bring yours or use ours)
  • A commitment to being okay with exactly where you are, nothing to solve, nothing to show, nothing to prove, nothing to hide… starting where you are without apologies and judgments!
  • A willing and curious spirit with an open heart that trusts the drum, dance, chants to be vibrational guides and become one with our instruments as our connection to Spirit and higher selves.
  • Sacred item, totem, flowers, photos to adorn our village altar

DRUMMING ON THE WILD SIDE: (Partially Outdoors)

Level 1: Drumming on the Earth - All Levels

Explore your WILD SIDE via natural rhythmic expressions guided by your own life-force. Your tool is the DRUM. Your path is courage. Discover your deepest passion through the drum! The first portion of the class will be a 6/8 drum visualization.  Sojourn with your own drum out into nature - pay homage to the tree, animal, rock, metal, air, water spirits that co-created these brilliant drums of light!

Level 2: DJEMBE & DUNUN FEVAH- Intermediate/Advanced(West African)

Djembe and Dunun is one of the most aerobic drum practices besides .We will begin with strength and stamina building exercises that are physically demanding. Learning rhythms is only par for the course to improving and truly making your drum sing!  Together, let's explore sitting and standing body postures; partner solos; long solo parts that require deep technique practice; upbeat placement in rhythms; rolls and flams, ambidextrous playing and drumming for the dance!  We will touch upon how to be a masterful teacher of drumming and lead transformative healing sessions with your drum.

Together, we will find a way to weave our rhythms into a wild drum-song!  Drumming on the Wild Side invites you to drum in your transformation - and join the movement of women drumming into the wild!


MARCH ON FREEDOM ROAD: Outdoor Rhythm Orchestra

Open to All Levels

Let's celebrate our lineage as drum amazons through drum, song, movement and dance!  The Marching Orchestra, designed by first peoples of the African Diaspora, namely Khemites Ifa, Yoruba, Lucumi, and Santeria traditions that birthed Afro-Cuban, Afro-Haitian, and Afro-Jamaica rhythms. From Africa to the Americas and beyond, the drum is heard in the streets!  We will create a marching drum troupe, and offer our song, dance, drum, and spirit and ancestral blessings to the land and all beings!


DRUM OUR SOULS FREE JOURNEYS (1.5 hrs - 4 hours)

Drum Your Soul Free Through the Vibrant Healing Force of the Drum

Open to All Levels with Beginners in Mind! 

  • Awaken & Release your voice,
  • Sacred Community Play, Songs, Movement, intentionally held circle, conscious communication
  • Through drum-specific techniques, rhythms,stories, songs and dances for the Djembe, Dunun, Conga, Shekere, Bell, Cajun, Ashiko, any drums you desire to bring into the circle, we create a conscious clear vessel for communing with our deepest nature.
  • Forge into your JoySpot, Drumming makes you laugh at yourself!
  • Enjoy learning about Afrakan Diasporic legacies, stories, and indigenous wisdom that we take for granted today or use without even knowing.
  • Give yourself PERMISSION - GET your soul back! Hone your rhythmic voice; explore and excavate the impacts we are living on our planet now
  • We put into the Cauldron what we desire to Celebrate through our gratitude together.  And we compost what we no longer desire or have learned.
  • Simple and inspirational West African Diasporic drum and percussion techniques for beginners and more advanced techniques for intermediate players allows us to explore the rhythmic freedom of our authentic voices.
  • There are more specific prescriptions that this course can address, depending upon the group intentions, desires and envisioned outcomes.
  • What folks are saying about Afia:  "Afia synthesizes knowledge of the drum as medicine for healing our wounded souls and is able to share it so generously with us and makes it easy to learn."  Everyone will feast in this rhythmically exciting offering!
  • Please bring a sacred item to our community alter as a way to anchor your souls spirit in this place we drum together and charge up your totem with your vibrational intentions.