African Marimba Workshops In Schools
The marimba is an instrument that anyone can play on their first encounter, because, very simply, it only involves hitting the wooden keys with two mallets - one in each hand.
Groups typically require no more than 20 minutes before they're able to play a simple song together. This makes the marimba unlike any other instrument.
And it's a lot of fun!
WHAT WILL STUDENTS LEARN?
Students will learn songs and rhythms from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana, with material from other parts of Africa too. This includes folk songs, original marimba compositions and contemporary covers.
Students can also learn traditional call-and-response singing, patterns on the hosho - traditional Zimbabwean shakers, hand clapping patterns, drumming patterns and traditional dance moves.
All marimba workshops include a background to the songs taught, giving students a meaningful cultural and historical insight.
WHAT MAKES THE MARIMBA PERFECT FOR Children, STUDENTS AND SCHOOLS?
- No prior knowledge or musical experience is needed and students are typically able to play a piece of music together within 20 minutes of their first lesson.
- There is a part for every student to play regardless of ability, boosting self confidence and self esteem. All parts on all songs have graded degrees of complexity, allowing students with different musical and mechanical abilities to all have a place in the same ensemble and be sufficiently challenged.
- Cooperation and listening skills are enhanced when playing in a marimba ensemble, as students need to play together to create a piece of music. Playing music together is also a team effort and all ensemble members quickly learn they are all important in creating the full sound of any song.
- Both sides of the brain get exercised due to the alternating hand technique of playing the marimba which also improves dexterity.
- Concentration and focus are both exercised and enhanced when playing in a marimba ensemble.
- The marimba is a robust, low maintenance, portable instrument that does not need electricity, cables or microphones to operate and can be set up anywhere!
- IT'S FUN!
Our marimba ensembles are built up using soprano, tenor and baritone marimbas. The sopranos hold the melody, the tenors add a rhythmic backing, and the baritones hold the beat.
We teach our workshops by ear, the traditional African way, which enables students to more freely engage their senses and be present in the music and experience as a whole. Workshops require absolutely no knowledge of reading music, experience playing the marimba or of African music.
Workshops can be as short as 30 minutes long for younger children, or as long as one hour to an hour and a half for older participants. Bookings can be made for half a day, a full day, or over several days.
Our Taste of Southern Africa show presents a wonderful collection of folk songs from southern Africa - sharing with our audiences ancient rhythms, sounds and stories from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana using the marimba and mbira, and accompanied by singing, drumming and dancing.
The concert can tie in a participatory workshop or general audience involvement, giving listeners a much greater, and invaluable, cultural learning experience.
BOOK A MARIMBA WORKSHOP
If you're looking for more information, or interested in booking a marimba workshop for your school or institution, use the form below or contact me on 0751 550 8934.