teaching and workshops

Teaching and leading workshops is one of the main aspects of 
ดนตรีป่า music forest 

For many years I have been building musical instruments, composing, writing songs and performing my music. In more recent years I have increasingly had the opportunity to present workshops and to teach. These days, my wish to directly share the joy of music with others is on equal footing with my other art work and the prospect of focusing more on workshops is very exciting to me.

 Where making the instruments ~ that make the music  ~ that is inspired by nature 

 ~ to bring music to life ~ 
gives sway to the sharing of the sounds and in that,
deep deep living
We, our group, begin our time together with the making of a simple instrument, perhaps a berimbau - a Brazilian instrument made with dried coconut shell for a sound chamber, a metre long stick of wood to which a length of wire or cord is stretched, a small smooth stone to shift tones, another smaller stick to strike the stretched string.
 Taking our instruments we gather around in a circle and begin to make our song 
starting with a simple rhythm
we are standing so that we can move around to our sounds
 if we wish 
soon a melody emerges that we all may sing together 
and once we feel comfortable in our song
we start throwing in words
and we just play
~ สนุก ~
As workshop leader, I introduce ideas, when needed, to get things moving but my main goal is to see where musical ideas may come from the children's own imagination. The joy of making our own song is a wonderful thing with laughter being a most important ingredient.
As all my work revolves around a search for a deepening connection to the natural wild world, the teaching and leading that I do also reflects this important and vital aspect to life. The belief that all creation, all life comes from the earth that we walk upon; the air that we breath and walk through; the water that sustains us and allows us to be immersed within, surrounds my path to living.

This connection to and deep respect of nature and indeed all life is what may make my workshops perhaps a little special. These elements are never imposed or pushed but rather simply presented with a word, an image, an idea. 

I believe that we all have this deep instinct and love of the wild.
I see it often in so many people over and over again.

The workshop that I have just described is intended for children between the ages of 6 and 10 and this is reflected in the instruments that we will make and the way we make our song. A solid plan with teachers prior to the session is important to discuss ideas on ways of structuring the workshop and the overall dynamic of that particular group of kids. It is important that the specific needs of the children as a group and as individuals be accommodated. Workshops can be during school hours or as an after-school program.

Workshops focused on younger ages is 
what I am focusing on in ดนตรีป่า music forest.


Workshops and other teaching possibilities for older children and adults can certainly be arranged and be equally fulfilling and fun. 

Some ideas on the types of workshops possible
I have a pretty wide ranging background in the arts that range from music to visual arts to costuming and onwards. Below I will add a few suggestions for workshops, talks and presentations.

Instrument making in combination with music making: The primary workshop described above can range from the complex to the simple depending on age and abilities. I am especially interested in working with youngsters. I believe that the empowerment of making the very instruments that music is made from and bringing a voice to these sounds can be a vital aspect to early learning. An instrument can be simple such as a coconut shell, a stick, a piece of wire to teach rhythm, melody and movement.

Long Ride talks and seminars: Using imagery, live music and story telling to present my experiences on three years of solo long distance rides on horseback through the southern Canadian grasslands. For three years, 2011 through 2013 during the spring and summer, I travelled with two horses through the great plains of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta. I wanted to travel through as much native grassland as possible; to link the last remnants of this vital and endangered ecosystem in the hopes that these experiences would help inspire me, and others, to bring forth new music, new art and a new, or perhaps a very old, understanding of our place on this beautiful earth.

Live performances: Using instruments of my own construction, some traditional and some self-conceived. Songs and instrumental music inspired by my love of wild nature. I have been writing and performing my own music for more than 20 years now. I love to present my songs in intimate settings – a classroom, a home – and am also comfortable in a concert hall.

Discussions about the importance of wild nature: A fairly new concept that is being presented more and more these days is the importance of re-wilding our world. (eg. George Monbiot's Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life & J.B. Mackinnon's The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be) This is taking the important, though in many ways, problematic concepts of the 19th and 20th century conservation based on control, fear and separation with nature to a re-imagining that our true place is imbedded within nature. 

The idea that we are a part of, indeed have always been a part of, nature is growing. It is a concept that demands discussion, perhaps something to be done in quiet discussion in a small group not unlike sitting around a fire discussing our time and place in the quiet evening.

Living possibilities beyond the industrial world: This is a natural extension of the topic above.

Traditional craft: including deer and moose-hide tanning, moccasin and other garment making, bead and quill work as well as fabric based clothing and costume making.

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