Immerse yourself in the rich culture of Ghana in West Africa. Just 15 kilometers from the Ghanaian capital of Accra, the 2010 KUSUN Study Tour, an alluring educational synergy in West African drum, dance, and song, commences in the village of Nungua.
In the language of the Ga people, the word ‘Kusun’ means tradition. The KUSUN study tour has attracted international students since its founding in 1998, fulfilling its mission of sharing African tradition with people around the world. With as many as 350 people participating in the tour every year, students have the opportunity to meet people from all over the world who share in the love of West African music and culture.
Other tour instructors include Ray Periera, a leading Australian percussionist. Originally born in Sri Lanka, Periera met Tettey in Ghana in 1994, and they began discussing their passionate interest in the history and origins of music and tradition. Establishing the Kusun Cultural Center in Nungua, Periera and Tettey created an outlet to explore, share, and educate on these traditions and the music they inspire. Besides educating, the Kusun Cultural Center also serves to give back to the community in which it is located by providing jobs and promoting education and economic empowerment.
Various other African musicians, dancers, as well as local and international talent also stop by throughout the four-week study period to share their musical and dance skills as well as their culture and tradition. At night, more amusement begins as students have the opportunity to visit local villages and watch performances. Participants even have the opportunity to perform in front of local spectators which some students described as the most exciting part of the tour.
Drum lessons will center around staple African instruments such as the djembe and kpanlogo drums and the shekere, but students also have the opportunity to take extra lessons in other popular instruments like the balafon (African xylophone) and the atenteban (traditional bamboo flute) and in modern musical styles like Ghanaian "highlife."
In their free time, students can take advantage of their stay in Ghana by exploring what else the coutry has to offer: visit historical sites like the Cape Coast Castle, relax on the pleasant beaches, tour a nature site like the Volta River or Digya National Park, or go out in Accra for a night out on the town. In addition, during the tour months, August and September, several festivals are lined up inluding the Odambea and Homowo Festivals in August and the Fetu Afahye Festival in September.
The price of the tour, $3800, includes instruction, outings, and full accommodations; single rooms with private shower and bath and three delicious Ghanaian meals. Double rooms for couples are also available. Participants are expected to bring their own drums which can be purchased from Kusun or through the students own means.
For more information, go to www.ghanadrumschool.com/