A kalimba is a great gift, especially for young graduates who could use a little nudge in the direction of wonder!
When you get a gift for someone graduating school, you want something beautiful. You want something that opens doors into new futures, new possibilities, new worlds. You want something that they can grow into. You want something that is meaningful and open ended. You want to get something that your graduate can make their own. And you want to gift them something that also reflects your values.
What values might you bring with your kalimba gift?
- Peace = playing kalimba can bring you peace.
- Perseverance = the more you play, the better you get.
- Beauty = many kalimbas are themselves already beautiful. Add the beautiful music, and you have a winning combination.
- Diversity = the kalimba is, at heart, an African instrument, and it reminds us of the beauty and wonder that has come from Africa
- Spirituality = the kalimba’s history in Africa is spiritual in nature. With its soft, unassuming sound, it is now used in many spiritual contexts.
- Focus = in order to play and progress on kalimba, you need to focus on the tines right in front of us.
- Possibility = it is mind blowing, the possibilities available on even a 10-note kalimba.
- Simplicity = on the other hand, this kalimba has a limited selection of notes, and they are laid out right in front of you! Relatively speaking, this is a simple musical instrument, and it is set up to tilt the odds in favor of success.
- Joy = not everything in life brings joy, but how wonderful that some things do. Not every moment is joyful – some will be confused, or pushing, or stretching. But when you get the music, and it ripples off of your thumb tips, and it sounds beautiful, and it gets a response from your friends or family… there is often real joy.
- Community = the kalimba is a great opening for conversation and connection. “Oh, I see you have a kalimba? Could I play?” That is how I met my first kalimba guru, a stranger I met on the street as I played my novice kalimba.
- Individuality = even though it is a simple instrument, there are many ways to play it. Go to town, and make it your own.
- Study = Kalimba Magic has now created over 100 different kalimba books and ebooks that can help your kalimba grad advance on their kalimba journey!
My rule of thumb is: about 1 tine per year of age. So, a 10-year old (or an 11-year old, or a 9-year old) graduating from an academic program could get a 10-Note Kalimba.
Or a 13-year old could get a 13-tined kalimba.
This works until you are 17. I suppose that means, in terms of kalimbas, at 17 you are a legal kalimba adult. I don’t sell any kalimbas with more than 17 tines! But i do sell a bunch of kalimbas with 17 tines.
Yes, the kalimba has been a heart-based journey for me, but I have also spent a lot of time drilling down into how to play the music, and how to teach it. My tablature-based kalimba books are an inspiration to many.
Each type of kalimba, with different numbers of tines or different tunings, will require its own book.