I am a djembe specialist. My family is from Guinea, West Africa. My master is the famous Famoudou Konaté. I am friends with and have studdied for 30 years with Mamady Keita, Wadaba, Bolokada Conde, Sayon Camara. We are all friends and play together. I teach congas and dunun drums as well.
If you want to learn the correct way to play and get good really fast, try to get an appointment with me!
I love seeing people who have never played hand drums get so good so fast! If you learn the real-deal stuff from the beginning you will soar! And no one will correct your drumming cause I have already done that work for you. I traveld the World to play and learn at the feet of ALL of the masters and became teachers of their styles. I hope to meet you behind a djembe or other hand or stick drum, soon! Be well. Alan
Able to read music
Types of drums
Student have drums
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I've been teaching many styles of drums in private lessons and small and extreely large group classes, where each situation and each student needs to hear things a certain way.
I can build upon the basics and get a student drumming REALLY WELL in a short amount of time! Each student is different and I use the appropriate tools when necessary. I really listen and watch carefully.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have studied drums since I was 4 years old. Studying at the feet of the greatest drummers of our times has been my dream come true. Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, as well as various studios, master drummers and living the life of a drummer and eventually owner of DrumConnection and traveling to the home of djembe and dunun in Guinea, Mali, Senegal and The Gambia. I have studdied and played, performed with ALL the great masters.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
$35.- half hour $50.- for 45 minutes and $75.- for an hour lesson. I travel to you. If it's a hand drumming lesson, in nice weather we can meet outside. Drum kit at your home only; Djembe or conga outside or at your home or Zoom!
Weekly lessons can give a 10% discount. Djembe and Dunun available for sale or rent. Djembe and Dunun tuning available. Repairing Djembe and Dunun a specialty.
How did you get started teaching?
By the age of 10 yrs I had a full Saturday of students booked from 10am to 5pm! I learned early on that if you could teach how to play you really knew what you were doing! And I became the drummer and teacher I am today because of my students!
What types of students have you worked with?
Working at the level that I have trained for allow me to work with kids as young as 4 and as old as 85! The average age of most students is late teens to 60's. I've taught at Beverly School for the Deaf and Perkins School for the Blind since 1970! Most of my students love drums and want to get really good at it themselves!
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I recently organized my own trip to Guinea, West Africa for Famoudou Konaté, the greatest old master of djembe and lead solois for Ballet Africains for 25 years. He asked me to teach in his place when he was tired as he is older now. Quite an honor not just to play with the greatest hand drummers of our time but to teach in their place! I am also often asked to quickly explain something quickly in a large group setting when the students don't quite quickly 'get' what the master is trying to convey. I just love ALL OF IT!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
As well as your other studdies or activities you have in your life, plan to select the teacher with the most experience in your area. That would me me :) I have taught over 1/4 million students how to play the djembe and dunun of the Malian Empire.
Starting with the sounds and the physical movements that most be learned correctly, the sound and the speed will follow. Then either learning traditional rhythms or how to play djembe in a band with or without a kit drummer. I have had all of that experience AND I have a positive outlook on live and a funny side that I share to keep it not so 'serious' :) True.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Some students don't know exactly what they're going to want to do or learn; some do. Watch and listen to the teacher play during the first lesson so you know when you might be headed. Does the teacher teach different styles and I do, many styles.
Do you see yourself playing in a band or starting your own African based djembe group, playing in a pop, rock or funk/fusion band, or starting your own djembe based school in your area or maybe getting hired by DrumConnection as a teacher someday! All is possible - Dream!