Chava Rachel Saban
A professional classical violinist in a symphony orchestra before coming to live in Israel 11 years ago, Chava Rachel Saban decided to change her musical track. Interested in jazz and improvisation, she began to play jazz music as well as take up the Irish fiddle. The musical freedom this gave enabled her to begin to improvise and compose her own music. As she tapped into her roots she gradually became more observant and brought in more and more Jewish themes and melodies to her music.
Music And Prayer
These days she sees music as a form of prayer and feels that when she is singing and playing she is helping to bring about the promised Redemption of the Jewish people. She bases a lot of her songs and melodies on the Psalms and uses her music as a way for prayer and healing. Every Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the new Jewish month, as part of her religious practice, Chava Rachel invites women to join her with their instruments to play music and sing Hallel.
Her style falls into the world/folk music genre but she is happy to use electronic effects in her recordings. Although as a religious Jewish woman she is not comfortable performing with or in front of men, she has recorded on their CD's, e.g. Banjo Billy's, as a different process is involved. As for her own recordings she writes and records a new CD every year or two.
Suzuki Method Music School
Having studied music from a young age with the well known Japanese Suzuki Method herself, Chava Rachel also runs a private school teaching violin and flute using this system.
Pupils learn by listening to recordings and listening to one another playing without having to read music. This makes it very easy for very young children to learn to play as they learn intuitively by ear, the way they learn to speak. The children feel that the instrument becomes like their voice so that any song children can sing, they can play. Chava Rachel has found that this method is most successful with extremely young children, and likes her students to start learning at as young as three.
Although it may take longer to learn initially than conventional methods, the children are not restricted by the "dots" and therefore the whole world of music opens up to them. Chava Rachel encourages children to improvise and express themselves through music and some of them even end up composing their own songs.
Chava Rachel has adapted the method away from traditional western classical music to embrace Jewish music according to the season, so for example at Pessach time, the children will concentrate on Pessach songs, at Hanukah, Hanukah songs, and so on. She has recorded CD's at three different levels, aleph, bet and gimmel, which the children use at home to practice. Students have a private lesson with her once a week and a group lesson once a month. She teaches girls of all ages and boys up to the age of Bar Mitzvah.
Women's Workshops And Performances
Chava Rachel gives women and girls private and group voice training classes as well as running a variety of workshops in both Hebrew and English. During the Klezmer festival she likes to put on a women only concert, and the rest of the year performs for visiting women's groups and seminaries at local hotels and other venues in the area.
For further information about classes, upcoming concerts and workshops contact:
Chava Rachel Saban 04 699 9651 or email: [email protected]