I have been in the
educators' trenches myself lately, and I know how frustrating and rewarding teaching can be. Witnessing my own two sons growing into
young men, I am thankful for good teachers who have imparted them with a thirst for knowledge, wisdom, caring, and love.
I also know that having a little magic wand, such as the kalimba,
can help. The mother of a good friend of mine gave
me this advise on parenting: "You don't have to confront them head
on for every little conflict - a lot of the time, all you need to
do is distract them a little." The kalimba is a great little distraction,
in the home as well as in the classroom, and can totally refresh the
environment, just as a magic wand might do.
The kalimba provides a great opportunity for
lesson plans on African culture, musical
instruction, and/or science, enabling a rich
multi-level learning experience.
Here are just a few ideas for how the kalimba can be used in the classroom:
Pass the kalimba around the classroom
and tell its history (classic Show & Tell).
Offer instruction on our student karimba, which comes
with a download with the basic parts of 9 different traditional karimba pieces,
written out in tablature.
Offer instruction on the 8-Note kalimba, which is a great beginner kalimba, is economical and
has a lot of written material for use as teaching aids.
Have you ever thought about making kalimbas with your class?
Building kalimbas is a educational activity on so many levels, culturally, musically
and scientifically. There is a very clear relationship between the tine
length and the frequency of the vibrations. Learn more about making kalimbas in this article.
The Cloud Nine Marimbula is a great instrument that anyone can use
as a bass - just put green, red, and blue stickers on the 1, 4, and 5
notes in the key you want to play a song on your guitar in, and call
out the colors as the chords change. I've used this with 6 year olds
as well as 90 year olds, and everybody loves it!
The mbira, the predecessor of the current kalimba,
was used for over a thousand years in ceremonies
to help people connect with the spirits of their ancestors.
This can be especially meaningful for African American students.
I am available for consultation to
help you turn your own ideas into lesson plans for sharing the
magic of the kalimba with your class. And don't forget,
for the month of September 2009, there is a 15% off sale on ALL Kalimba Magic products - just use the EarlyXmas coupon code when you check out.
If you have developed lesson plans or presentations using the kalimba, we would be very interested in
hearing about it!