Everyone must be tested and endure the struggles and pains of learning and becoming skillful at a craft. This process is just one of the lessons that must be learned in life. The drum itself takes us on a journey of learning one’s self, discipline, honesty, ethics, morals, technique, history, folklore, geography, and aspects of culture. This is a lifelong lesson and will never be fully mastered, but the lessons learned, if consciously internalized helps us in the evolution of life and the human spirit and soul. Kafolike School’s curriculum is a process to internalize the many rhythms of the Mandingue and its purpose for existence. This grading and level appraisement is not the end and all but is a section in which we can become one with the many rhythms that are learned. This process is about the continuous learning process to develop in the skill of becoming a teacher and preserver of such a beautiful and meaningful culture of West Africa's rich legacy.

Sekou has created a color code that represents a levels of the learning process. This processing curriculum serves as a one on one intensive learning process for those willing to become teachers under the Ka Folike School Curriculum, which would not be possible in regular public classes.

Before a teacher starts teaching all the intricacies of music under the Kafolike curriculum, he or she must get certified. The certification process helps guarantee the teacher has all the skills and knowledge necessary to teach the curriculum and rhythms each semester.


Teacher Certification?

The purpose of getting a Kafolike Teacher Certificate is to make certain that the teacher has knowledge of and understands the principles of the rhythms and its internalized functions. The certification process tests the educator’s knowledge and professional readiness to teach under the Kafolike curriculum. Generally, a Kafolike teacher will study with and assist the senior Professor for a period of time to become ready to either open their own school or become the official Assistant/Co-Professor of a school.

Basic Principles of the Kafolike Curriculum

To get a Teaching Certificate, you need to have a solid understanding of the 39 Rhythms under the curriculum. The teacher must know basic info of each rhythm (History, technique, origin, ethnic group, 2-3 djembe accompaniments and 3 dundun voices), principles, meanings and ethics of each rhythm, also a great understanding of how each rhythm relates to our everyday life. Understanding each one of these principles thoroughly will help guarantee you pass the certification and are able to deliver efficient teaching to the students.

Theory and Composition

In order for an individual to become certified under the Kafolike curriculum, he or she must understand and analyze music by ear. Testing for certification may include the demonstration of aural skills through recognition of melody, harmony and rhythm. A teacher would be able to listen to a rhythm and pick out the melody (the voices that form a musical phrase), the harmony and the rhythm. Being able to distinguish between the different rhythms is helpful for not only knowing why a rhythm sounds right, but being able to pinpoint why a rhythm doesn’t sound right and taking the necessary steps to fix it. Potential teachers must understand how melody, harmony and rhythm come together to create a piece of music. It is important to understand each component and how they work together to achieve a final sound. Teachers must be able to hear the voice of each rhythmic pattern and melodies and analyze them and understand what makes them pleasing to the ear, heart and soul of the students. Students need to learn about the quality of sound and tone they are playing and hearing in an instrument as well as the changing levels of sound.




One of the main talents a certified music teacher for Kafolike must have is, critical listening skills. The teacher must be able to identify errors in sound (Basic notes, bass, tone, slap, open and muff), rhythm and know how to administer the correction to each student individually.




A large part of becoming a being a Kafolike teacher is knowing how to plan and structure your different classes. It is important to be able to manage a classroom of adults and children. Being able to select appropriate rhythmic patterns for the classroom and performances is imperative. The teacher must be able to pick patterns suitable for different age groups and understand each student’s abilities as a musician. Picking music too easy or too hard for an age group wouldn’t be beneficial for the students. Instead, a potential teacher should know the skill levels of each class and also provide a diverse selection of music.



Gaining Certification

The Schools Senior Professor will test the potential teacher on the rhythms of each level of knowledge. Kelen (13 rhythms) Fila (13 Rhythms) and Saba (13 rhythms) equaling 39 rhythms. The potential teacher must know each pattern for djembe and dundun of each level of certification. Our first level of the teaching certification comes when he or she has passed the Fila stage of learning. The teacher will receive the green bracelet displaying the teaching level.