Sample Syllabus - "Afro-Caribbean Drum Ensemble"

Course Description

 The Afro-Caribbean Drumming Ensemble provides the student the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of drumming traditions of the Spanish speaking Caribbean, focusing primarily on the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Ensemble members will participate in group learning of the traditional drumming appropriate to styles/genres such as Bomba, Guaguancó, Bembé, and Comparsa. The Afro-Caribbean Drumming Ensemble is an introduction to the concepts that are essential for the World Music percussionist/drummer who desires to expand and diversify his/her rhythmic repertoire and vocabulary. The ensemble is also an introduction to the role of the percussionist as exhibited in such contemporary musical genres as Pop, Jazz, Funk, R&B, and Rock & Roll.

 Resources and Required Material

 Students will be required to review and utilize audio cds (provided), actively research via the internet with special attention given to YouTube video clips. Students are encouraged (but not obligated) to utilize recording devices.


A basic and fundamental understanding of ethno-history, instrumentation, structure and function and instrumental technique particular to specific drumming traditions of the Spanish speaking Caribbean.

 Learning Outcomes

 By the end of the class the student will:

 1.     Demonstrate the ability to perform basic music specific to particular genres of Afro-Caribbean folkloric drumming traditions.

2.     Demonstrate mastery of basic technique appropriate to the instrument(s) associated with the particular genres.

3.     Demonstrate understanding of the instrumentation and musical structure characterizing the genres.

4.     Provide results proving the general development of the musical sensibilities required for performance.