By Elia Simantov
On Friday, 26th November, EBPP’S music team came to our Denpasar office for a hands-on weekend workshop to immerse them in many new and valuable training and musical experiences in order to enhance their instructional and creative development. Our music team consists of four young musicians from our mountain village of Desa Ban who never had access to any professional musical training before we started our music program in February 2010.
David Booth and I briefed the music team on the different activities, and discussed important issues, such as curriculum and scheduling. After lunch, our good friend Mas Bambang Sri Handoko, a brilliant singer and guitar player, who prefers to be called “Bang”, gave an excellent guitar-technique and theory class. With his careful and diligent instruction, our team were very soon playing improvised guitar solos, with Bang playing the professional musical background. After the five hour class, Bang explained the basics of musical notation and about the musical stave to our excited music team.
In the evening our music team and some EBPP staff went to the Sanur “Seafarer’s Club” where One Dollar for Music foundation (www.onedollarformusic.com) held its third MusiCampur musical event, in which local young musician are given a chance to perform and get some live music experience on stage. It was important for us to expose our team to this event, with the goal of them performing there in the future. Our team observed two live bands performing during this evening: Emergency Exit and Dialog Dini Hari. Clearly, they were in awe and driven to improve their skills and sounds so that THEY can perform there in the future!
On Saturday 27th morning, we arrived at the ODFM offices in Sanur for the training workshop, a vital part of the weekend’s activities. Raoul Wijffels, ODFM founder, started the workshop by discussing with the music team how they can teach their students in the EBPP schools in Ban a variety of musical concepts, by using simple songs and performing them together with the students in class. In this way,the students experience the musical concepts first-hand, and are in touch with music-making, and not just with “music studies” relating to theoretical terminology. This fits perfectly with the EBPP philosophy of “learning by doing”!
The music team was thrilled to hear that the next part of the workshop was about the bass guitar, as we bought our first acoustic bass guitar just a few weeks ago. They seemed astounded to hear from Wira, one of ODFM’s training team and a professional bass player with the Balinese rock band Hanamura, about the multitude of variations that can be derived from bass playing in different contexts. He and Raoul also explained to our team about the importance of usingthe correct presence of voice and charisma while performing on the stage, and how that can be improved.
By the end of the day I could see that the music team was very content with the precious knowledge that they received. We are all waiting anxiously to see how theywill put this knowledge into practice in our schools, as our young students are very eager to continue with the new music classes they have come to love during the last few months!