3rd Grade Student shows his abilities after 3 lessons with me and his class!

I FIRMLY BELIEVE WE ARE MAKING A BIGGER, MORE IMPRESSIVE IMPACT ON PEOPLE AND THE EARTH BY USING NATURAL EARTH FRIENDLY MATERIALS BECAUSE WE CAN CONNECT TO OUR PLANET A LOT MORE THIS WAY!!!!!!!!

Dear Visitors  

I am aware there are many, many people viewing this page. I appreciate that and I am available to your questions on how to make instruments. I've been doing this for a very long time, so let me tell that you need a heavily experienced teachers, me, to build instruments with a group, especially when making large quantity of materials for large amounts of students. Making instruments for yourself, is hard but the best advice I can give is "you have to experiment" or , as I said, contact me.
In my teachings, ALL my workshops are 100% successful, so contact me and ask me, I can help. Hire me to come out to you and teach and you'll learn what to do. However, on my calendar, you may see, from time to time, that I offer FREE public workshops (of course, I get paid) but they are few but again, check the calendar regularly. I update my calendar literally weekly!!!

 
 THE FOLLOWING SHOULD ANSWER MOST OF YOUR QUESTIONS:

WHEN IT STARTED:
In 1990, I started out just repairing my instruments, but over the years, I have accidentally become extremely knowledgeable in making both BAMBOO and GOURD musical instruments, I am currently finally getting around to clay but that's another story! I began building instruments in
1990 and started by doing small workshops with multiple classrooms as I was already ready working with educational organizations and so I had
lots of work, from 1990 until now, I have built over 60,000 instruments with ALL ages. YES I AM A GREAT TEACHER and MOTIVATOR and the vast majority of my schools are "repeat clients" . To this date I am still the main provider of making instruments on a huge scale.

Although I am a performer, this is the other half of what I do and I am happy that the interest in making natural material organic green instruments has grown!!!!!

DIFFERENT AGES:
Again, my work is not only for kids, I work with pre-schoolers (yes I have things they can make and they do it); challenged students, ALL ages, even adults!!!! And even teachers :-) and virtually any size group AND it's not just about what the kids can make or do, it's about what the teacher (me, me, me) gets them to do. I guide and motivate them to do a great job and do it right......and with lots of love, cultural passion and positive energy. EVERYTHING I DO IS SAFE AND ALL MY WORKSHOPS RESULT IN GREAT THINGS AND HAPPINESS!!! Many of my students come to me years later saying they still have and play their instruments! Some have gone on to be musicians in college!
Yes I have a Livescan.

WHERE DO I TRAVEL TO?
I am based in Long Beach, CA but travel nationally and internationally.
 
EARTH ISSUES, RECYCLING & HAND OUTS:
YES, YES and YES: At all my workshops in person I speak about the benefits of natural materials; recycling and I also have all that I said on a hand outs, that I provide and on video. I am one of the few musicians who even thought of this. I am innovator in my teaching methods. I still account for making large amounts of instruments yearly for all ages!!!

PRICES: Please contact me

LENGTH OF WORKSHOPS:
It's is always possible to customize things and shorten some classes, but we should discuss it because many times, shortening classes can cut vital information or other things. The times I indicate have been tried and true over many years and are my best recommendation. I always say when the students have time, especially kids, "give it to them"...

EVERYTHING IS HAND MADE!!!
NATURAL MATERIALS  VS. HUMAN-MADE MATERIALS:
I am not putting down those people down who make instruments out from PVC, found, discarded, junk and other human-made materials, although there are very cool things being made out there, but in MY programs, use only "natural" materials. I specifically DO NOT make instruments out anything else, except maybe in my Preschool and some kinder sessions where we use Industrial cardboard for rattles and rainstick because those kids are not ready yet to be able to "sand" bamboo or wood.
You'll see the materials I use for each instrument on the "instrument list" below.

I simply go for the positive, beautiful and honoring lovely earth lesson we can learn about using "real and natural" materials. I try to be as natural as possible is all I can say. Not trying to shizzle your dizzle, but there it is...I am passionate about my art and years it took to me get here on my own!!!


AMOUNT OF STUDENTS PER WORKSHOP:
There's NO minimum amount of students and I have done as many as 100 at a time. But the best groups are 10-40 students, usually it's 30, the standard number of students in an elementary schoolo setting. Over that amount is possible, but it's less one on one and we'll require helper volunteers to oversee my instructions, not to help students. Helpers are more like quality control personnel, haha.


AFTER THE WORKSHOP:
I have "Video Lessons" on this website that will teach you how to play your new flute or panpipes, new lessons coming soon!

EARTH GREEN MUSIC PERFORMANCE:
Again, f you click on the "Educational Presentations" tab above you'll see the various performance (see EARTH GREEN MUSIC description) and the many instrument building classes I present.
 
NOTE:
All my workshops are about absolute safety, I use nothing dangerous or toxic. Everything is age appropriate, even the size of the materials and any the necessary tools I created. I keep a very strong watch on every student regardless of age, I encourage slow work, everyone assembles, decorates and learns to play proper sounds of their instrument(s).
 

INVITE ME OVER:
I'd love to come build instruments with you, contact me by clicking the "CONTACT" tab above! We can then discuss prices and anything else that pertains! Sure I charge but that's why they call me....I'm funky, fresh, exciting and motivating.
 
SAFETY AND FAKE ARTIST CONCERNS:
I have to say this but this is the kind of world we live in: Please do not copy my innovations and ideas and then say you're a master at this or all of sudden you offer flute making or instrument making sessions. THIS ART REQUIRES EXPERIENCE, LOTS OF IT AND SAFETY is an important issue. I assure you that I rock the house and my work is very very well researched and ALL my sessions result in great instruments that last!!!


HOW MANY INSTRUMENTS DO YOU NEED:
Because it takes time to create the instrument kits, especially if it's an order of 50 instruments and over, you must give me ample notification for a workshop, gracias! Sorry, I don't have kits "just laying around."

SESSIONS INCLUDE, WHERE APPLICABLE:
Playing technique; how to create your own songs, based on a simple compositional method I created; also geography, plant origin, environment/recycling, listening skills & cultural history. Each workshop ends with a song to use the instruments. I teach with humor and simple but very direct language. I educate in a very open hearted, conscious and caring way. I am also an expert in Bamboo and Gourd work. Again, ALL my workshops with melodic instruments have people learning how to play and make their own music!


When possible I like my BAMBOO workshops to have as much time as possible in order to talk about Bamboo origins and environmental impact! Otherwise, I have a hand-out that expresses all this info in both English and Spanish. So, when classes need to be at less time they will still get the education via the hand-out info.

NOTE: back in the 1980's I originated all my workshops with no influence of anyone else but back then there was NO ONE doing this or if someone did it was on a small scale. Since the year 2000 until now, I have made over 60,000 of these instruments because the demand has increased like crazy, especially in 2015-2016!!!


 

27 EARTH FRIENDLY "GREEN" MUSICAL INSTRUMENT WORKSHOPS
Ages: Pre-K to Adult

  • BAMBOO FLUTE: 60 minute is possible the workshops is optimal at: 90 min or two to three 45 min sessions.
    Ages: K-easy-Adults It's up to you but I think The longer time the better! My 1st most requested instrument! END BLOWN - easy to play, specially tuned to leave out the ugly notes. This is the most highly requested instrument for my workshops and residencies. I present workshops for Grade K thru 2 making two (2) holed flutes with them because of the level of multi-tasking and finger dexterity. Grades 3 to Adults it is the four (4) holed flute. In Adult workshops we simply make "larger" flutes and in those workshops we use "natural pigment paints" that we will make together to decorate them.
  • BAMBOO PANPIPES: 60 minute is possible the workshops is optimal at: 90 min or two to three 45 min sessions.
    Ages: K-easy-Adults It's up to you but I think The longer time the better! My 2nd most requested instrument! These are the second most requested instruments for workshops and residencies!!!
  • FRAME DRUM: 1-2 hour workshop. This is a funny class, because I thought it would be best for older kids but I discovered that a small group of 12 kindergarteners can do this with one of one help. We make the sticks too. This instrument is gaining popularity in my workshops and residencies!               Ages: Medium difficulty. Grade 1 and up. Grade K can do this but they need helper volunteers.
  • GOURD RATTLES: 1 hour or two 45 minutes sessions to allow more for artwork.
    Ages: K-easy - Adults
  • OCARINA: Two 1.5 hours sessions. Made from Bamboo or Gourd, with gourds the processes are different and require more work.                                      Ages: Grade 3 to Adult
  • BAMBOO MIRLITON a.k.a. KAZOOS: 15 - 45 minute session.
    Ages: Grades K and up. Easy!!! Great for "drop in workshops"
  • BAMBOO XYLOPHONE: 1 hour but 2 hours best!                                                                                                                                           Ages: Grade K-easy to Adults
  • CALIFORNIA CLAPPER STICKS: 30 min but best at 90 min session. Great for lessons on the ancient Southwest, including CA. We end with singing indigenous songs from California.
    Ages: Grade 2 - Adults
  • BAMBOO MAYAN TRUMPET: 45 or 90 minute session includes Mayan drum session. It's a very mellow sound, not like a metal or conch shell trumpet. I say Grade 3 and up because younger kids can't do the "embrochure" (the way the lips need to be used) to produce the tone.
    Ages: Grade 3 - Adults
  • GOURD MAYAN TRUMPET: Must discuss length of workshop as amount of work can vary. A very, very sweet mellow tone, not loud like a metal or conch shell trumpet.
    Ages: Grade 3 - Adults
  • RAIN STICKS of GOURD: 3-4 hours. Must discuss length of workshop as amount of work can vary. For this one I actually prefer grade 5 and up. High school students and above are best at this work!
    Ages: Grade 3 (discuss) - Adults
  • RAIN STICKS of BAMBOO: 4 hours +.  My classes of K's do this. No tools needed just my small light 5 inch bamboo hammers which push the dowels into the bamboo, no dangerous nails or wires. Sounds excellent.
    Ages: K - Adults
  • BAMBOO PERCUSSIVE PANPIPES: 4 hours +. A very cool instruments, sizes can vary upon availability of materials but mostly, they're pretty big. Sounds excellent not loud, they have deep mellow tone! and they are "tuned"!!! We even make the sticks that strike the instruments! There's painting involved in the making of this instrument. One of our biggest concerns is "dry time"...best made during spring or summer. We'll do some drumming while waiting for things to dry, usually in the sun!
    Ages: K - Adults
  • GOURD WATER DRUM: 2 hour to 3 hours is best. Included: making padded stick to play it. Depends on availabllity of adequate gourds.
    Ages: Discuss - Adults
  • GOURD KALIMBA: 4 hours or more. Must discuss length of workshop as amount of work can vary. Requires good abilities to focus and get your job done. Level: difficult.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ages: 13 - Adults
  • GOURD GUITAR: 4 hours. Some advanced techniques but not difficult. Contact me and I'll describe it, I don't want copycats.                          Ages: 10 - Adults
  • GOURD TUMBI: 4 hours. Tumbi is a one stringed instrument from India, particular to the music called Bhangra.                                                         Ages: Ages 10 - Adults                                                                                                                                                                                                          
  • BAMBOO MARIMBAS: Level: moderately difficult. We make the sticks too.
    Ages: 11 - Adults
  • BAMBOO "TEPONAZTLI" HORIZONTAL LOG DRUMS: Level moderately difficult must be able to focus really well, We make the sticks too. Ages: 13 - Adults (4-5 hour workshop)
  • HAVE NSTRUMENT SUGGESTIONS? LET ME KNOW
 

INSTRUMENT MAKING for "Grades Pre-K & K to Grade 3"
1) Because of the varying levels this young, I prefer to use "industrial strength natural cardboard". When they're older or more able to multi-task then I'll give them materials such as bamboo or gourd.

2) Length of workshop: yes I can keep a group of Pre-K motivated for over an hour, easy!

3) Don't worry, ALL my kids stay motivated. I have and incredible talent at keeping them "on task".

4) Workshops include: song, pulse & rhythm basics, listening skills and basics properties of artistic design, I do not let them go wild and color, they are guided!!!

  • RAIN STICK: 3 hours Recycled safe materials. I like this particular instrument because it sounds so good and is way safer than the way everybody else does it, eventhough I really try to stay away from processed materials or recycling junk. Can be made small for younger students or bigger for older students. I am so at what I do that I have even gotten 3.5 year olds to do this. This are able to do the work!!! Eventhough the Pre-K and K can do the long workshops, I suggest three (3) 1 hour workshops but the K's are the ones most able to do a 3 hour workshop.                                                              Ages: K to Teens - Duration: 3 hours YES they can do this, kids love to use their hands..
  • CIRCULAR RATTLE: Circular Rattle with a handle, rocks inside and feather can be placed on top, if desired:                                                 Ages: Pre-K & up  -  Duration: 30 min but can make last longer to an 1 hour
  • MIRLITON: a.k.a. KAZOO made from cardboard or bamboo-discuss. Great for "drop in" sessions.
    Ages: Pre-K & K & up -  Duration: 15 min to 1 hour
  • ANCIENT TOYS OF MEXICO: Cup Game                                                                                                                                                     Ages: Pre-K & Up  -  Duration: 1 hour
  • ANCIENT TOYS OF MEXICO: Spinning Tops made of bamboo & wood.                                                                                                     Ages: Grade 1 & Up.
  • JAGUAR VOICE: cardboard or bamboo-discuss. Great for "drop in" sessions.
    Ages: Pre-K & K  -  Duration: 15-30 min
  • PERCUSSIVE PANPIPE: medium to large percussive Panpipe made of special recycled safe materials. This instrument is held between the legs played with mallets, very cool.
    Ages: Grades k-up  -  Duration: 2 hours
  • OCEAN DRUM: made from recycled materials
    Ages: Pre-K & K  -  Duration: 30 mn to 1 hour.



PHOTOS of INSTRUMENTS from WORKSHOPS

All written and musical materials created by Martin Espino (c) & (p) 1984