Founded by the legendary Mamady Keita, the Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy is the world’s leading entity in teaching traditional djembe and dunun rhythms. TTMDA has diverse programs and a comprehensive learning system for rhythm enthusiasts to follow. 

Leah Ivory is studying this curriculum, which categorizes traditional West African rhythms into 8 levels. Each level contains between 7-10 rhythms. Each rhythm has 5 or more separate parts: 2 djembe accompaniments plus the sangban, kenkeni and dununba melodies. In addition to learning and memorizing all the individual parts for each rhythm, TTMDA students must also learn the history, ethnicity, and region of origin for each rhythm. 

Leah has tested for and has passed the first 4 levels. She is an official Beginner Djembe Instructor through the TTMDA program, and is on her way to becoming a certified teacher!


For more information on the Tam Tam Mandingue Djembe Academy, visit