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Jorge
Workshops

For details of my training as a teacher please see the Biography section.

workshop

I provide introductory workshops in Cuban percussion for:

  • Children aged 10 years and up (younger age groups considered depending on circumstances).
  • Youth and Community groups
  • Residencies
  • INSET (teacher training) days
  • Those with learning difficulties
  • Team building

The Afro-Cuban Percussion Workshop

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Each workshop provides an introduction to Cuba through percussion and rhythm. The sessions include elements of geography, history and pictures of Cuba. I give a general introduction to Cuban percussion instruments, such as the conga drums, bongos, claves, timbales, cowbells and maracas.

Teachers will gain useful information on using the instruments that can be continued and developed after my visit. I am fluent in both English & Spanish, and am able to introduce elements of the Spanish Language as a teaching aid.

Workshop Content

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The objective of each workshop is to create a Cuban percussion ensemble by introducing the participants to the world of rhythm and percussion. Starting off with a warm up, I explain the concept of beat and off-beat using hand clapping. The cultural context of this rhythm is explained, including some aspects of Cuban society and culture.

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Participants learn the art of building an Afro-Cuban rhythm around the basic clave pattern, which is the underlying fundamental structure of Cuban music. I show how different percussion instruments are introduced into the rhythm, which gradually leads to an overall piece of music. I teach participants to produce the different sounds that the drums can make by positioning the hands correctly on the drums. The importance of the cowbell as a centre point, keeping all the other instruments in time is also explained.

The workshop focuses on teamwork, listening skills, and of course, enjoyment!

  • Ages/abilities: Children from 10 years, young people and adults of any age (younger age groups considered depending on circumstances).
  • Workshops can also be tailored to individuals with learning difficulties.
  • Up to 15 students per workshop
  • Typically a maximum of 3 workshops per day
  • Minimum of 45 minutes per session, depending on student age and experience.
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I can also teach a whole day focusing on one class (broken down into two groups) which gives participants the opportunity to look in-depth at the technical aspects of each percussion instrument, in particular those that need ‘skin to skin’ contact such as the tumbadoras (conga drums) and the bongo drum.

With longer bookings (two days or more) I can also develop relaxation, coordination and concentration skills, improve musical abilities and teach popular rhythms such as Bolero, Cha-cha-cha, Mambo, Son and Rumba in an ensemble.

  • Space needed: A music studio or large cleared space. A semi-circle of chairs for participants.
  • Equipment/facilities to be provided by the school
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Percussion instruments will need to be provided by the school. Jorge can provide claves, bells, cowbells, shakers, chekere, maracas, conga drums, a set of timbales and a set of bongos. If a school doesn’t have congas or bongos, I can show how Cuban rhythms can be performed on other hand percussion instruments.