Since 2010 The Slyboots School has brought American students to study at the Dagara Music Center in Ghana, West Africa nearly every summer!
Time Frame & Cost
The trip is expected to run with 10 to 15 people in August and October 2023
The ball-park fee for this three-week trip is $4,500.00 and it includes your airfare, pickup and drop off at the airport (in Ghana), six hours of lessons a day (three in the morning and three in the evening), housing, three meals a day, and all excursion costs and entrance fees. Accommodation is one-three people in a room. There is electricity, running water and showers.
You can’t beat this price. There are similar study abroad trips to Ghana that are run by other institutions and organizations with fees ranging from $5,000-10,000
Our home base will be the Dagara Music Center in a small village called Medie. The DMC was founded by my mentor- world renowned master musician- Bernard Woma.
You can read more about Bernard and the DMC here.
The program of study includes gyil music, drumming, dancing, singing, batik and tie-dye making, kente weaving, bead making, basket weaving, drum and xylophone making workshops, cooking, volunteer teaching at nearby schools and working with women groups, such as market women, church groups and community-based network groups.
So much more!
The trip also includes excursions to the Kintampo waterfalls, the ancient city of Kumasi, the slave castles in Cape Coast, tropical beaches, the longest rain forest canopy walk in the world, (Kakum National Park), and the pulsating city of Accra, where you will see West Africa’s largest craft and art market, (the Art Center), the National Museum, the University of Ghana and the National Theatre.
As you can see, the program is not just music and art; it covers a wide range of studies and historical cultural experience. Participants don't have to be musicians to gain knowledge and experience on this trip. This is an engaging opportunity, a great learning experience and a beautiful exchange of knowledge and ideas from both sides of the world. All you need to do is sign up and leave the rest of the organizing and work to Slyboots.
Slyboots is responsible for:
Making all the travel arrangements for you between JFK Airport (in NYC) and Accra in Ghana
Supervising and leading group activities and lessons
Coordinating all the in-country travel and accommodation arrangements.
You are responsible for the following things:
Transportation to and from JFK. Due to the nature of the trip, with students coming from various parts of the country- it is just easier if we meet in NYC.
Acquiring your travel documents such as a passport, visa and all your vaccinations. Details will be provided in your informational packet.
You will also need: Sunblock, a camera, “summertime‘ clothes, a journal, flash light, any personal medication that you may require, rain coat, hiking boots, swimming attire, an open mind and a good attitude.
The Slyboots School facilitates fundraising planning sessions and events to help offset the cost for trips like this. Working towards monetary goals is an essential skill to have as an artisan. Working towards that goal with a group builds the group dynamic and sense of community that is an essential element to the Slyboots School’s philosophy.
It should be noted that the fees for this adventure have been devised in an attempt to accommodate for adventurous artisans on a tight budget. While all accommodations and arrangements are Slyboots approved, all travelers are invited to spend a couple extra bucks for an “upgrade”. Examples of typical upgrades include (though are not limited to):
Drinks-- Slyboots provides safe drinking water with every meal. Additional water, soft drinks and alcohol are the most common upgrades.
Food-- Slyboots collaborates with the DMC to provide 3 solid meals a day while at the center. Still hungry? There is plenty of amazing Ghanian food available and you are encouraged to support a wide variety of local chop bars however- you are responsible for paying for all food outside of the DMC*.
(*While on the two Slyboots excursions you will be given a per diem to cover food costs- many students choose to add some money to indulge at restaurants.)
Accommodations-- All Slyboots rooms are shared between 2-3 people and are outfitted with a fan, running water and shower. Where available, you can upgrade to a private room or a room with AC.
Travel-- All Slyboots excursions use combinations of public and private transportation including busses, taxis, and tro tros. In the past, students have upgraded to a plane for the excursion to the north. Prices for flights from Accra to Tamale vary every day, but for those who want to see the elephants and other wildlife, but don’t want to deal with the 12+ hour bus ride through the beautiful countryside... this upgrade is a viable option.
Informational Meetings: TBA
Interested people can contact Griffin directly.
Please help us spread the word to your students, drumming/dancing community, your school teaching colleagues and all those with passion for the arts, education and international exchange. Positive social change through cultural arts education-- changing the way people view our global village, on the sly.