Apprenticeship with Famoro
Updated: May 9, 2020
I've been learning music and life from Famoro since 2006 when I wrote my doctoral dissertation on learning culture through music. Since that time Famoro has become a mentor, a friend, and a brother to me. He teaches myself and a handful of American musicians to play Manding balafon and guitar, but the true students learn a philosophy for life. And that takes time. You see, to truly learn the music of the griots, one must become an apprentice to a master. In Africa, as Lucy Duran's documentary "Growing into Music" illustrates, is how the traditional practice and the wisdom embedded within, passes from generation to generation. Direct transmission is necessary because one learns from the comportment, the heart and soul of the mentor. Over the past fifteen years Famoro has taught me by example, respect, love, humility, courage, flexibility, and many more values. Here, Famoro is teaching an ethnomusicologist student how to find a good feeling and transmit it through the music.