Schiermonnikoog 2018 - Blog - Paul Nas, de Balafon my Passion!
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Schiermonnikoog 2018

Schiermonnikoog 2018

Dutch French

It was a wonderful weekend: Schiermonnikoog 2018 at Djembé Dramé! About 120 lovers of West African music had made their way to the island by boat on Thursday and Friday. Waiting for them there was a lovely group of teachers who would deliver workshops across the various disciplines. Weekend workshops were offered for Djembé (with different levels), Dance and Balafon. In addition, people could register an hour per day for an extra introduction to an instrument. Thus, for a total of 3 hours, lessons could be taken in Talking Drum, Kora and Balafon. An hour of Singing or Pilates, Dance for percussionists completed the weekend.

Coming to Schier

This time I had brought the big trailer. There were quite a lot of registrations and an introductory workshop for the balafon was also provided for participants from other teaching groups. So I could also easily bring my own tent. Since Hanneke also participated this year, we could drive together and set up our tents next to each other.

Schiermonnikoog 2018
Class of 7 participants

I have been allowed to teach the balafon regularly in recent years. As many as seven students had signed up for the weekend balafon workshop. So the Amstelveen lesson group had travelled to Schiermonnikoog in its entirety: Yvonne, Winnie, Ingrid, Hans, Inger and Bas. Also in attendance were Anja (De Biltgroep) and thus Hanneke (private pupil). For Claudia, Jackie and Philip it was a first or follow-up meeting. I had also arrived on Schier a bit earlier with some of the students, so we had a great time playing in the days beforehand. At the campsite, you could find a pitch with your tent or rent one of the luxury ‘Safari tents’ (with fridge!). I happily joined the little club with their Safari tent!


While in the rest of the Netherlands it was hard work, with tropical temperatures of around 35 degrees, on Schiermonnikoog it was subtropical and pleasant, always around 25 degrees; lovely! We did have to seek shade for lessons and playing together, but it was perfectly tolerable. Next to our playroom was a grassy field where you could relax and clear your head.


Because of the heat, the village hall was closed to large groups of people; the temperature there could rise dangerously! So to the beach; Turid had found a beach-tent operator friend willing to hold our presentation evening there. Starting earlier and providing shorter presentations. But at the first presentation by a djembe group, the floor of the beach tent began to crack dangerously and we had to do our stuff on the beach itself…. This unexpectedly still gave beautiful images with music and dance.

Zongokar op het strand
Back home

With the moisture rising on the beach in the evening, the balafons were still a bit damp when I returned home. Once home, the sun was already shining brightly and I was able to give my instruments a sun bath. It had been a wonderful edition of the Djembé Dramé weekend Schiermonnikoog 2018!

more photo’s at Djembé Dramé

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