If you can’t bring your own piano- try a tambourine!

HandMade in Israel

If you can’t bring your own piano- try a tambourine!

I’ve spent many years trying to learn an instrument. I am musical but my hands apparently are not-the right and the left don’t communicate with each other.  So all those piano lessons in my early childhood(torture), all those do-it-yourself ukulele lessons, all my attempts at guitar( apparently strings are not my thing) have gone for naught! I am proud of my kazoo talent, but I  can’t sing with the kazoo in my mouth. Therefore I was thrilled with the beautiful tambourines I found  in Shira Haivri’s workshop,an Etsy vendor, which you can explore on the ACHI Market at https://www.achi613.org/achi-market/vendors/shira-haivri-jewish-art.

Shira Haivri-(former name Rikki Shir) told me the emotional story behind her unusual craft. A little over seven years ago, Rikki was sitting by the bedside of her five ad a half year old son who had been battling cancer for two and a half years. The doctor entered the room and told her that the chemo treatments had been successful and her son was free of cancer. At that moment, Rikki felt her own spiritual awakening. Changing from a  totally secular lifestyle to Orthodox Jewess,  Shira began to infuse all her work with qualities of holiness and redemption. When you look at the variety of tambourines, called Tupei Miriam (Tof is singular),you imagine a bride under the wedding canopy reading the blessings that have been written in calligraphy and beautifully accessorized, with designs and floral arrangements

Shira does custom work, and therefore all her tambourines, drums and wall art are unique. I have bought two Tupei Miriam, one for a former student of mine who is a wonderful singer, so the word “niggun” (in Hebrew of course) is on hers. Mine is a blessing for our home and I plan to use it when I sing for senior groups on Zoom. An excellent item which I am considering are the do-it-yourself kits which contain all the material necessary to make your own tambourine, for adults and children as well. Shira told me that when her son was released from the hospital, she crafted eighty tambourines, customized with the names, of each child in the cancer ward, both Jew and Arab alike. She and her son marched in and handed them out personally. Imagine the surprise, especially the Arab children seeing their names in Arabic calligraphy.

Shira studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the Netherlands. She and her husband who is a videographer live with their four children in Beit Arye between the cities of Elad and Modi’in. Her workshop is in her home.  She told me she was beginning to create harps. Do you think I should take the chance??? Visit www.achi613.com and make beautiful music. I’ll be singing along.