As children become teens, they crave more challenge, connection, and opportunity to share what they’ve accomplished with an audience. Many young adults audition for and become part of our Teen Performance Program. Teens who are just starting out are welcome in our open marimba, mbira, and drumming classes.
Fall 2018 Open Classes for Adults & Teens
Come try this! Everyone loves music when they can find their own innate musicality in the safe, supportive setting of our group classes. Students can stay with us for many years and grow through our programs. We offer classes for all ages and levels of ability. In general, you will start in our introductory classes and progress with your class through our skill and song levels. At various points in this process, there will be opportunities for additional growth; as your ability and experience grow, so do the opportunities for learning.
Click on the class title to complete our online registration form!
World Music Community Choir with Austin Okigbo
Thursday 7:30-9:00 pm | 10-week session Sept 30-Dec 6 | $240
No class Nov 19-23 (Fall Break)
This community vocal ensemble is designed to let each member find their own inner voice and share it with the world. As a community of singers, we bring the joy and passion of folk music from Zimbabwe, southern African, West Africa and around the world to appreciative local audiences. Open to all ages and all ability levels. Songs and performances announced each session.
Have you been wanting to try marimba? Deepen your understanding of specific songs? Learn all the parts to a song so you can share it with family and friends? These 4-week song classes are designed for all levels and abilities to learn Zimbabwean marimba song-by-song.
2018 Fall Marimba Songs Include:
Sept 4-25 | Chipendai
Oct 2-23 | Chiro Chacho
Oct 30-Nov 27 | Duduluza
No class Nov 19-23 (Fall Break)
We are offering a 3-year course of study to learn a body of marimba songs we consider our “standard marimba repertoire.” Each 4-week course allows students to study in-depth a song, including unique basic parts and their variations for each of 7 marimbas, as well as a standard arrangement. Take one, or take them all! No pre-requisite necessary. Instructors will teach to the level of each student in the room. Group playing and jamming will be an integral part of each 4-week course.
Over the course of 3 years, this basic marimba song class will feature: Amoxoxo, Babamudiki, Butsu, Chemwainyera, Chipendani, Chiro Chacho, Duduluza, Gandanga, Isu Tauya Pano, Hondo, Kukaiwa, Makudo, Mangwanani, Manhanga, Muti Wambuya, Ncuzu, Nhimutimu, Nyungwe, Out of the Nest, Pfumvu paRuzevha, Skokiaana, Stork, Taurai Zvenyu, Unondo Tamba Iwewe, and Zendekaiwa.
Mbira Nyunga Nyunga
Monday | 4:00-5:00 pm
Aug 27-Dec 17 | $20 drop in
Mbira Nyunga Nyunga (‘sparkle, sparkle”) is a 15-16 keyed lamellophone (thumb piano) played by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The mbira nyunga nyunga is fun and easy to learn, and can be played alone or with friends. Each week students will learn deepen or their experience of a Zimbabwean song. No pre-requisite necessary.
Tuesday | 7:45-9:00 pm
Aug 28-Dec 18 | $25 drop in
Mbira Nhare (“telephone”) is a 22-28 keyed lamellophone (thumb piano) in the group of instruments known as Mbira dzaVadzimu (Mbira of the Ancestors) played by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Each week students will learn deepen or their experience of a Shona song. No pre-requisite necessary.
Friday | 5:00-7:00 pm | Sept 7-Dec 21 | free
Coaching session beforehand | 4:00-5:00 pm | $20 drop in
Mbira Club is a place for mbira players of all levels to play mbira and unwind from the week. Come for all or part; bring food & drinks to share or not; bring your instruments or use ours;
teach parts you know or just listen.
Don’t play mbira yet? Come to the coaching session from 4:00-5:00 pm beforehand, or sing and clap along. All are welcome!
In this class, all levels are welcome, including adults and teens. We will begin with a brief discussion and practice of making the 3 basic sounds of the drum: slap, tone, and bass. Then we will jump right into playing traditional rhythms of Zimbabwe, as learned at Chris Berry’s Blue Tribe School, as well as in Zimbabwe. We will learn first and second accompaniments, as well as breaks and bell patterns, and some root lead parts. Cultural context will also be discussed.
In this class, all levels are welcome, including adults and teens. We will begin with a brief discussion and practice of making the 3 basic sounds of the drum: slap, tone, and bass. Then we will jump right into playing traditional conga rhythms of Cuba. Most of what is taught will be drawn from the lineage of Los Munequitos de Matanzas. Scott received the permission to teach this repertoire from elder Jesus Alfonso (RIP), while studying with him in Cuba in 2010. We will learn first and second accompaniments, as well as breaks and bell/clave patterns, and some root lead parts. Cultural context will also be discussed.
The following are on-going groups. If you are interested in becoming a member of one of them, please send us a message!
Fall Shumba (Lion) Marimba
Level 3 | Ages 10-14 | Grades 4-8
Wednesday 4:00-5:30 pm | 17-week session Aug 22-Dec 19 | $510
No classes BVSD Fall Break Nov 19-23, 2018
In our level 3 class, we are working on easily finding the G chord, C chord, and D chord on any marimba, and understanding the F#. Did you know that the F# is the difference between a D major and a D minor chord? We do! We are also learning shangara sticking patterns and learning to play them in sync with group. We are getting better at fluidity on the higher instruments and strength and precision on the lower instruments. We are learning to play the hosho, and trying to move our bodies while we play and step to the beat. We are learning about syncopation, and how to play parts together that have different kinds of syncopation. We are becoming a team, and we are actively trying to play well together by listening to each other. It’s called “groove.” Did you know that? We are also learning how to remember more complex arrangements, and how to make up our own variations in the style with guidance from our teachers. Cool, huh?
Fall Mukanya (Baboon Totem) Marimba
Level 4 | Ages 11-15 | Grades 5-9
Wednesday 4:00-5:45 pm | 17-week session Aug 22-Dec 19 | $595
No classes BVSD Fall Break Nov 19-23, 2018
In the Mukanya class, we are working on level 4 skills. We are learning about the kushaura/kutsinhira relationship, how to play basic and shangara running lines and fast chords consistently with proper technique, and how to move our hands far apart on the keyboard with ease and confidence. We also are working on playing running lines in groups of triplets while stepping to the beat, understanding and executing more complex interlocking rhythms in both dance songs and mbira-style songs while stepping to the beat, and learning to play hosho and bell patterns while dancing to the beat! In our group we are learning how to play to others consistently in all our parts. We are learning to play the role of “lead” on the soprano and develop parts and variations appropriately for the style. We also are working on looking around the room while we play our parts, and showing each other and our audiences how much we enjoy the marimba! We love marimba!
Ages 13-18 | Grades 8-12
Tuesday 5:30-7:30 pm + Thursday5:30-7:30 pm
Takapenga (“We are crazy-awesome”) performs Zimbabwean-style marimba around Colorado’s front range using a 7-piece marimba orchestra with hand percussion.