Chapey lesson with blind KCDI students
Title: Our Chapey Program for Our Blind Students
Dear Kind Donors,
I hope that you are all well and safe? On behalf of our school, I wish for you and your families good-health and for the World, Healing!
Thank You all for so kindly and generously continuing to support our School despite the pandemic. We are immensely Grateful!
In January of 2021, we began our Chapey Dong Veng Program for our Blind Students resident at our school. Their Teacher is himself blind and is a well-known Master of the Chapey Instrument in Kampot Province.
The Chapey Dong Veng is a Traditional Cambodian Instrument, which looks similar to (but is unrelated) a guitar. The Chapey Player learns to play chords with a special rhythm and harmony sequence as a base…then they learn to sing over that…but it isn’t just singing, it is in fact telling a story. Often Chapey players observe what is going on in their communities or in their country and sing humorous but quite pointed stories about the things that they perceive are unjust, funny, or the idiosyncrasies of their fellow human beings . It’s quite an art to first learn how to play the chord sequences and rhythms and then add the story. People love to listen to Chapey players (although there aren’t many left in Cambodia and most are elderly) because they can tell wonderful,relevant stories.
The Chapey instrument is particularly suited to blind people, because it is for a Solo Musician and there are no limits imposed.
Our students began learning with their Master in January and have started to make good progress…and get on very well with their Teacher. Learning this new instrument, is not just great fun and helps boost confidence, it is also a form of vocational training, adding to their skills as Mohori and Yike Musicians and Physiotherapists. Interestingly and fortunately, those students who have done best in Mohori and Yike have done less well in physiotherapy and one student who did less well in both these areas, is excelling in the Chapey, so that there is something for everyone!
With Best Wishes from Everyone at the Kampot Traditional Music School (KCDI)
Report by Catherine Louise Geach : (Founder)
Location: Kampot Town, Cambodia
Photo: Some of KCDI Students having their Chapey Lesson:
(Photo Taken with permission of students and teacher.)
Chapey Master and Tai, learning at KCDI