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Marimba ensembles, playing the music of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, have proliferated in the US due to the teaching of Dumisani Maraire who taught at UW Seattle in the early 1970s. As a young man, I was captured by the sound in the early 1990s in Eugene, OR. It was ten years later, in Hawai`i, that the opportunity to play this music presented itself when Musasa Marimba Ensemble relocated to the island. My core musical training is ten years of piano lessons as a youth, followed by a Bachelor’s degree with a minor in music from University of Redlands. I learned marimba ensemble music in the tradition of Dumisani Maraire from Michael Breez, one of his longest and most consistent students, for seven years. I have also been certified in Fundamentals of African Rhythm (FAR) by Chris Berry.
I am prepared to teach marimba ensemble classes to groups of any age, and have over ten years of experience doing so. This is an excellent and accessible introduction to the basics of music in youth education.
It also offers fun and achievable musical fellowship for adults who don’t have a lot of time in their lives to devote to “hobbies.”
Below are the basic guidelines for formation of an ensemble.