As I posted earlier, my hours, from one of my various jobs, have been substantially reduced for the next school year. There are various reasons for this, most of which I know, many of which I accept, and some which make me speechless with fury, but - hey - that's how it is going to be, and so I have to "move on".
And "move on" is what I have done. I now have a "junk" samba kit, right beside me, cluttering up the space which is facetiously known as "the dining room". I can't remember when we last ate a meal at the table, but that;'s another story. There are enough "instruments" for over 30 people to have a thoroughly enjoyable time together playing authentic samba rhythms.
I am launching as a samba workshop provider NOW. The first school outing for the "junk" kit takes place tomorrow afternoon. There are surdo drums, home-made mallets (you can find instructions on how to do ANYTHING these days), tamborims, ganzas, claves, and even agogo bells all created from from bought and scavenged bits and pieces, and yards and yards of duct tape. I'm really pleased with the sound that the substitute instruments make. It's proof that all those weird looks I was getting while tapping and testing everything in garden centres, cookshops and junk shops all around the area were well worth it.
In due course I will buy a 15-player primary school kit, so that schools and groups have a chance to compare the sounds of the authentic and the "junk" instruments, and see how they could make their own kits. I suspect that "junk" is where many samba bands started from originally; people searching for whatever would make a good sound, and joining together just for the joy of playing together.
Meanwhile, my "junk" kit is here - suitable for primary schools, youth groups, social groups (it's all light-weight) and church groups (let's give Psalm 150 a good work-out!)
Learning to play in a samba band is also a great way to focus on team-building and collaborative skills in business - no team-work, no samba....
So, if there is anyone out there in the West Sussex area (England!) who wants a samba workshop - contact me - leave a comment below, and I'll get back to you.
I'll launch formally on my music website www.themusicjungle.co.uk over the summer, but You heard it Here first!