Musical Healing: Assisting the Process of HumanRemodeling



Drum class in Kapiolani park

Visiting teachers

Online resources

What to bring / prepare

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African Drum and Dance in Hawaii

Read more about healing benefits of African music on the African page. 

How do you prepare for and/or benefit from your HumanRemodeling session Stretch. Go to the great outdoors areas, have some good fun, practice spiritually and build community. How can you make it happen all at once? Go African drumming or dancing, preferably outdoors. Your cells will say: THANK YOU!  Playing and dancing African music is extremely healing because it engages higher parts of the brain, and joins mind and body. It heals grief and makes us relax into God. 

I facilitate a dance class on North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, in Sunset Recreation Center, Thursdays 7-8:15pm. The posted below is old and will be updated. The most current info is on Facebook, SpiralOnUp!

African dance class 9soon drum class too) on North Shore of Oahu, downtown Haleiwa.

There are no master dance teachers from Africa living in Hawaii.

Oussmane Sall sometimes lives on Kauai.

Natalina Monteiro is from Cape Verde and Paris and teaches mostly samba, and teaches modern “club” African dance sometimes.

Please google current African camps.

Here are some teachers who used to come once in a blue moon. Youssouf hasn't been on Oahu for manyyears but I like to keep the links. Because of his first visit, I went to  his Camp Fareta and the rest is history.

·         Moustaffa Bangoura and Le Bagatae (click on this to hear it!) troup - they also have instructional dance DVDs that are excellent

·         Yousuff Koumbassa  - click on "bio" and scroll down to see him dance - WOW! the best dancer ever. Check out his camp Fareta and his instructional DVDs.

·         Lamine Thiam

·         Mabiba

·         Denise Arias belly dance teacher in LA. her classes are a fantastic foundation for African dance.

·         Conglese camp on Maui, yearly, around February-March.

·         Various camps during summer time - Camp Fareta, August in California, etc.

Online resources  Mamadu Keita has books, DVDs with individual rhythms. Abdoul Doumbia has a book with CDs. The visiting teachers have their own sites and DVDs. There is also the Rhythm Reference Project.

The music is traditionally not recorded but learned by listening and practicing with a live teacher. That works for African village where you hang out with the teachers, hear the music, and drum and dance every day. In modern western life, when there is one-two drum or dance class per week, it is harder to remember what you played/danced last week. It is possible to bring a tape recorder / camera to some classes, but most professional teachers do not allow recording. TO THE RESCUE: 

Master drummer and dancer Fara Tolno compiled 50 West African rhythms: Rhythm Reference Project

So for $40 you can download the traditional version of it. For $100 you can download traditional, ballet, and master teachers (e.g. Mamadu) versions of the same rhythms. Each rhythm has many different parts, so all together it is about 500 different pieces.

This is a good deal! The money is going to help open a school in Guinea, West Africa, for traditional teachers to share their knowledge of drum, dance, balafon, cora, etc. and other aspects of the traditional African culture. Which is quickly dieing. It needs to be preserved. The quality of that music is extremely healing. If you want to read my opinions and experiments with it, read below and also read my blog and my articles.

What to bring and how to prepare

Some teachers have loaner drums, and some do not. Ask them before you show up. If you don't have a drum, you can only watch :)

There are many drums for sale online, and sometimes locally. Check craigs list and ask the drummers. Plan to spend about $400 for a good djembe. Anything cheaper will sound cheap :)

Dunduns (stick drums)  are typically cheaper than djembes. 

Conga drums are easy to find used, usually cheap. They do need to be commercially made and can be cheap or costly when new.

For dance classes, just come dressed to move a lot and sweat heavily. For women: usually a tank top and leggings with a lapa on top. For men: some kind of shirt with shorts/pants.

And most importantly, bring the right attitude - of community, respect and celebrating life.


Playing and dancing African music is extremely healing because it engages higher parts of the brain, and joins mind and body. It heals grief and makes us relax into God. 

Read more about this healing music therapy on my African page.




Our Nature is Healing and Nature Helps Us

All images and text Copyright 2007-2017 by Milica Barjaktarovic.

For a fabulous massage, call Milica today. North Shore, greater Haleiwa and Waialua area, Oahu, Hawaii. cell 808.351.0848.