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Archive for the 'Performance' Category

by claudia . December 21st, 2011

The You Do What? article is my favourite section of the Good Weekend (Australia) newspaper and I am still pinching myself I was included. If you didn’t see it, you can read the article by clicking here. Many thanks to Cindy MacDonald, Nina Karnikowski & Nick Cubbin from Good Weekend, and Steve Godbee for the wonderful article and photo!

by claudia . November 17th, 2011

My interactive website – Learn Cajon – is now officially launched. It ‘s a site I created for anyone interested in

  • learning to play the cajon
  • buying a quality cajon
  • joining an on line cajon community

You can visit and download a free introductory module here!

 

 

by claudia . October 31st, 2011

Huge thank you to everyone who came to my Learn Cajon launch at Spanish Tapas in Sydney – it was an amazing night! Special thank you to all who performed –  Greg Alfonzeti, Ana Interiano, the girls from Sangre Espanola, Frank Macias y Los Amigos, Sam and Rached, and to Allan Watson, Kathleen Strong, and Dean Watson, Debbie Pask for speaking!

Thanks to Kua (Oh Snap) for the awesome snaps and to Vanna for amazing as always video work.

 

by claudia . September 6th, 2011

My new website is live which is a Cajon Resource where you can learn cajon on line, buy cajons and DVDs and join the on line cajon community.  All feedback very welcome!

Claudia :)

by claudia . August 6th, 2011

Cajon in Schools

I have been using the cajon in schools as a tool for both musical and social development for many years now, and I currently run cajon ensembles at Curran Public and James Meehan High in Macquarie Fields, Sydney. In this series of articles I’ll be looking at some of the reasons why it is such a magic instrument for schools and teachers, as well as offering some suggestions for ways to run ensembles.

So why the cajon in schools?

Apart from the obvious relevance to a school’s music syllabus, the positive effects of drumming on students’ broader social, intellectual and creative development has been well documented. Increased motivation and attendance, improved class work overall and the development of social skills including team work, problem solving and performance skills are just some of the benefits the schools I have worked in have documented. But what is it about the cajon in particular that makes it so successful?

Hands on instant buzz!

While there’s no doubt that the sound of a cajon improves with some basic technique, it’s also true that anyone can hit a box!! For students that are struggling with low self esteem issues, it’s an ideal instrument to get an instant positive feedback experience from…and then from there to build up technique, skills and ability. Unlike some instruments that take at least a period of time before you can get a sound, the cajon gives back an instant buzz.

Drumkit in a Box

The two main contrasting sounds on the cajon are equivalent to a bass and snare drum on a drumkit. While the quality of these tones varies enormously from cajon to cajon – as with drumkits – any music that uses a drumkit – rock, pop, hip hop, funk, latin, swing, heavy metal and so on – can be replicated with a cajon.

Relevant to youth culture

As we can play any rhythm on the cajon that is played on a drumkit, the beats and grooves that young people tend to listen to today – hip hop, rock, R & B etc work perfectly on the cajon. Some students will be able to play grooves they listen to without any guidance from you.

Students can practice right away

Students – or the school – may not have cajons of their own, but because of the nature of the cajon, it’s easy to find something to practise on – a wooden chest at home, a strong cardboard box, a table top and so on. Some students might have a friend or relative that can build them a basic cajon. For schools interested in buying kits to make cajons, contact me here.

In the next article, I’ll be discussing ways of setting up and starting off tips for drum ensembles. Love to hear any feedback from you through the site,

Click here to see a recent video of some of the students performing as a cajon ensemble for Multicultural Day 2011 at James Meehan High

Claudia :)

 

by claudia . June 28th, 2011

Just had a delightful experience visiting St Lucy’s School in Wahroonga, accompanying Dean Watson from Flamenco@ on the cajon.

Flamenco@ is a project, created and run by Dean Watson which aims to develop and improve the ability of children and adults with disabilities to listen, dance and express themselves through Flamenco dance and music.

I often get to accompany the workshops with the cajon, which is always great fun…but last week we were there to work – not with the children – but the staff of St Lucy’s before their Annual Board & Staff Dinner which was a paella – that spanish rice – being cooked by Michael…in the same hall we were dancing and cajoning!!

Wish I didn’t have to rush off that night without paella in my belly :(

Thanks so much to all the staff who contributed and got into the dance, and to St Lucy’s for their generous gifts of beautiful gift cards from paintings the kids have done.

Claudia :)

 

by claudia . June 26th, 2011

“When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion, you seem to move inside the painting.” Fernando Botero

I remember very clearly the first time I learnt a Spanish Flamenco Rumba pattern. I was taking a private class with cajonero Isaac Vigueras at his place in Sabadell, just outside of Barcelona. Isaac is an amazing player, and teacher, (a wonderful combination), has played with some of the best flamencos around, and I learnt some of my most important lessons about rhythm, music and playing cajon from him.

I picked up the basics of the rumba pretty quickly and could play along with him fine, and was kind of expecting him to compliment me – and instead he just said – good – now practice that for 30 – 40 hours and see if you can get it “caminando”. (caminando translates as walking – and in this context means, grooving along, or what drummers sometimes refer to as being ”in the pocket”). That kind of stopped me in my tracks, and made me reassess what it meant to learn a rhythm. Sure enough, after putting in hours of playing something relatively simple, the rhythm did start to change – both the way I heard it, felt it, understood it – and of course the quality of the groove when I played it. I started to kind of … well…move inside the rhythm!!

Like me, a lot of people are in a rush – they want to play fast, complicated, fancy, and straight away… Actually it’s probably pa symptom of our times – this wanting to rush thing…But music is not about making noise or rushing (well…ok maybe sometimes that’s fun too…) So how do we play so that we are “inside the painting”…or “inside the rhythm”?

Rather than seeing practice purely as a means to “getting something” or performing, you might try thinking of it as just part of your life – a way of stilling the mind  – a meditation even. Try the Learn Cajon tip this month and see how rhythm develops for you – whatever level you are currently at.

by claudia . June 1st, 2011

Aurora Percussion is all about getting into rhythm with the cajon!!!

Claudia Chambers

What is a cajon?

This groovy “drum-kit in a box” has its own soul – full of fun and passion. Played with hands or snare drum brushes, a good quality cajon will have a warm bass drum sound with a contrasting snare tone. So think of your favourite music – whether it’s pop, rock, hip hop, soul, jazz, country or whatever – and you can start learning to play along – or make up your own beats and grooves!

Who is the cajon for?

Anyone and everyone! One of the most versatile instruments on the planet. The cajon is for people of all ages and backgrounds no exceptions – who wants to express themselves rhythmically and musically! From complete beginners who would love to learn an instrument, to experienced drummers looking for a less cubersome setup ideal for accoustic settings!

Where can I learn?

You can start your cajon journey with our online learning modules available at www.learncajon.com We have taken years of teaching and performing experience and combined them together to create these online cajon lessons that will grow your style, technique, rhythm and learning speed like no other.  And with this style of learning comes confidence, fun, connection, creativity and ultimately – your own unique expression though music. Just click www.learncajon.com to register for your free first module.

We also have our Learn Cajon DVD available from here with all the modules you need  to master the cajon through learning fun and funky rhythms with great technique.

Interested in attending face to face workshops with Claudia? See our Workshops page!