Dunun Drums

GRADE: 3-5
SUBJECT: Culture
GENRE: African Drumming
TOPIC: Dunun Drums
DISCIPLINE: Music General


In this lesson, students will learn about the dunun drums from djembefola, Weedie Braimah. They will listen and describe the characteristics of dunun drums, then create a four-door foldable about each drum’s role. 



  • Listen and respond to digital storytelling. 
  • Analyze dunun drums through the media.
  • Describe the characteristics of dunun drums.
  • Design dunun drums foldable display. 



National Core Arts Standards

Anchor Standard 8 Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Common Core State Standards

ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.



Teachers should review all media and resources prior to the lesson.





  1. Tell students they will be listening to Mr. Braimah talking about his spiritual connection to his drum. Play African Music and Spirituality. Ask students: What or who do you think about when you play or sing songs?


  1. Mr. Braimah talks about playing for the ancestors every time he plays the drums. Ask students: What do you think Mr. Braimah means when he says his music “flows from the ancestors”?



  1. Display the dunun drums pictures from the Slide: Dunun Drums. Divide students into groups and distribute construction paper. Have students create a Four-Door Foldable (see page 16 of handout). Label each door with one of the following instruments: Sangban Drum, Dununba Drum, Kenkeni Drum, and Dunun Bells.


  1. Tell the groups they will learn about the dunun drums. In the videos Weedie Braimah explains the role of the drums and the bells. Students will pay close attention to the characteristics of each drum/bells, noting their size, features, sound, placement, etc. Share the Slide: Dunun Drums with the leader of each group so they can watch Mr. Braimah talk about the Sangban Drum, Dununba Drum, Kenkeni Drum, and Dunun Bells


  1. Allow time for all group members to watch the videos and record their findings on their foldable. Encourage students to use words, descriptions, drawings, and labels. 



  1. Allow time for students to reflect on what they learned with a written/verbal reflection describing the different drum sizes, any unique features, the sound of each drum and the different role that each drum or bell plays.


  1. Have students create a display with their foldables (on a bulletin board or wall). 



Used with permission. Portions of this work are based on the National Core Arts Standards Copyright © 2015 National Coalition for Core Arts Standards/All Rights Reserved – Rights Administered by SEADAE.

© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

Weedie Braimah, African Drumming Teaching Artist
Produced by Preservation Hall Foundation



Animated GIFs