Pillar #3: Maintain An Open Heart & Mind

Maintaining an open heart when it comes to djembe music is the third of “The Endangered Three” – a group of three qualities that, when combined, embody Roots Djembe. And unfortunately, it’s becoming rare to find them all together in modern djembe music.

Sunu : Sebekoro, Mali (2)

In this context, an open heart is three things:

  1. Connection
  2. Humility
  3. Cooperation

These words form the foundation of a good musical experience, and arguably the foundation of a good life. And they’re a big part of Roots Djembe.

That’s why we love it so much!

The “dje” in djembe means “to come together.” This is an important thing to keep in mind. Originally, djembe music was meant to bring people together. Drummers, singers, dancers, young and old.

In The West there is a distinct difference between the “performers” and the “spectators.” Djembe music was designed for everyone to be involved.

If we keep this in mind today, and play with this goal, we can really create a sense of community, and the music will sound and feel better.

This music has a history older than any of us. The study of it is a discipline. By accepting that we always have more to learn, we honor both the spirit of the music, and all those around us.

No matter how experienced we may be, when we can remain a student with an open mind, we never stop improving.

The second syllable in djembe, “be,” means that once people have come together, they “agree to work together.” It’s not enough to just come together in one place. We “dje,” and then, with humility, we are able to “be,” too.

Djembe music was meant to be a communal activity. If we focus too much on the spotlight, we may neglect the group; But if we all focus on being of service to one another, we all benefit together.