Televi shakers for life! August 02, 2016

By (University of New Hampshire) - abroad from 07/07/2016 to 07/28/2016 with

ThisWorldMusic: Traveling - Study in Ghana: Music, Arts, Culture

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Very worthwhile

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Everything we experienced, from the rain forest to the music and dancing, cut through Ghana's rather depressing material circumstances with an energy and beauty that I found mesmerizing and inspiring. If you just show up and go through the program that's laid out for you you'll learn a lot about Ghanaian culture and have some rich experiences. The rest is what you make of it. Make your interests known early on and dig in every chance you get.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Finances

* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

Language

* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
  • Hotel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Host Family

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Diversity of activities
* What could be improved?
  • The way lessons are arranged and paid for. I was never clear on when an informal jam or conversation should be treated as a lesson.
  • The curriculum at Dagbe. I know it's not really their style of teaching, but I would have appreciated some kind of conceptual or theoretical approach to understanding Ewe music. I would rather leave with a firm understanding of what makes Ewe music and dance unique than knowing how to play one drum part to a particular song.
  • Relating to the above comment, I think a lot of time and frustration could have been spared if the rough form of the pieces we were practicing had been laid out for us to see beforehand. Again, I know that's not customary for the Ewe, but I think things might have moved more efficiently had there been some sort of explanation of how the piece is structured.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? If your goal is to get inside the feel of Ewe drumming and internalize the rhythms then you might want to spend more time dancing than drumming. One of the staff members told me during the end of our time at Dagbe that you cannot be a good drummer without being a good dancer. I think Buddy Rich said something similar, and that makes sense to me now.