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Residencies and Community Programs

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Uasuf Gueye offers one or two week residencies for grades 3-12 and college/university level students. These residencies are designed to foster in-depth learning in the African arts and culture to promote and enhance curricular objectives. The aim of these residencies is to instill skills and life lessons that will amplify participants’ confidence in self and awareness of the muse within. These residencies can be adapted to accommodate short-term community programs with similar objectives.

African Music and Culture Residencies 


Residency topics may include, but are not limited to:


"Mandinka Bala"


The Mandinka Bala workshop is an exhilarating introduction to the world of playing the African xylophone traditionally known as the Bala. Students will learn information on how to build and create melodies using the fundamentals of music theory.  

"The Melody of Djembe"

The Djembe is an hourglass shaped hand drum played by the Manding people of West Africa that is accompanied by three types of bass drums called Dundun. The Djembe package also includes lessons on polyrhythms and is a great great way for students to gain a basic understanding of the percussive side of Manding music. 


"The Full Orchestra Package"

This workshop brings different instruments from the Mali Empire together to create the full orchestra experience. This package includes instruments such as Balafon, Djembe, Dundun, and voice. It allows the opportunity for students to observe the role of each instrument and the relationship between the instruments as the compositions grow.

School sessions have a 15 Student maximum. If your organization does not already have instruments, there is a mandatory rental or purchase for materials separate from the residency fee. Instruments are available at Baile’s African Drum Works

One-week Residency

(Sample schedule)


Day 1
An orientation of the instruments that includes familiarizing students with their basic parts, proper ways to hold them, and proper technique for playing them. Students will also learn light history and parts to the first rhythm.


Day 2

Students will learn about the components of the rhythms as well as the role each instrument plays within the orchestra. Music will be arranged into compositions.


Day 3
Arrangements will be polished. Students will focus on controlling tempo, creating ambience, and clear execution.


Day 4
Rehearsal and review. Students will review information about the instruments including parts of the instruments and history. They will also play arrangements with clarity and build confidence before the presentation.


Day 5
Preparation for the performance and performance

Two-week Residency:

Week 1: Introduces students to the general origins of the instruments and their function within the different ethnic groups of the (Manding) Mali Empire. Students will learn the basics of playing techniques and phrasing as well as how they interlock into intricate poly-rhythmic patterns. Students will also learn about the context of rhythms with songs and musical language as related to Manding African languages/cultures. 

Week 2: Elaborates on the understanding of how to use traditional phrases to develop musical compositions. While developing these arrangements, students will learn about the relationship between rhythm, language, and song as if they were functioning within the constructs of a traditional African village. 

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Residencies include:

  • A minimum of 5 classroom sessions;

  • Cultural and music history;

  • A culminating event or Final Presentation, which will be at a minimum, an opportunity for students to share their work with peers and/or invited family.

  • Instruments and materials not included in residency fee


To discuss the specific details of your residency and get a custom quote, contact Uasuf Gueye here. 

Click here for a downloadable Residencies EPK!

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