What I Feel When I Play Kalimba

How do you feel when you pick up a kalimba?

Warning: Joyful kalimba can be habbit forming

Playing kalimba can effect each person in a unique way.  The interaction asks us to commit both to our instrument, and to the song that we are trying to help emerge into the world.  We have listened as players describe what the playing of a kalimba does for them physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The act of making music develops the relationship between a kalimba player and his or her instrument.  And it leaves something behind as well. Just listen to some of our customers.


“Getting ready to play kalimba makes me feel two very different things at the same time – my instrument asks of me an openness, but also a keen focus.

“It particularly happens with a kalimba that fits in my hands really well. My hands feel out the edges, and I feel like the world around me just goes away. I am struck by how this openness rewards me… especially when I’m alone, something new the instrument wants of me comes clear.  I get into this state of not needing to know the outcome or worry about the mistakes. I don’t really have a background in music and I haven’t been with the kalimba for long but sometimes I just need to or want to touch it… and I just want to see where it goes.

“And so it seems that your openness starts to attract something – a song or a few tines wanting to be stroked. You really have to be ready. You have to look and listen, mostly listen, but do both directly, at the same time. It means you’re in a heightened state of awareness, and yet you’re really relaxed. A paradoxical gift.”

Rose Marie – 2017

“When I play the kalimba I am transported to a magical, mystical mental landscape. I immediately escape into a realm of esoteric beauty, a world of fun, fantasy, and musical allure. I am reminded of tales of ancient music boxes that took children and adults to another place where imagination and creativity led them to a world filled with remembrances colored with joyful excitement and wonderings of what could be…

“Once I touch fingers to tines, I am drawn in, totally. So many melodies can be found just by exploring and letting your mind feel the music. While seemingly an easy instrument, the kalimba is actually a diverse apparatus, capable of expressing music representative of every culture. It is an instrument seemingly created to allow your inner self to express everything! I own several different kalimbas, and I find each instrument is as a separate being – each presenting a differing musical personality. Because of this, I can’t see ever becoming bored with the kalimba. Truly an otherworldly joy to explore and create with.”

Kathy – 2017

“What a blessing to feel the gift of creativity coursing through my veins. And to have your support to develop my creativity in the simple way that I can. I am in gratitude.”

Oman, 2017

“At this point in my life, I am an established kalimba addict. My life is just not right without kalimba music every day. It relaxes me, it inspires me, it uplifts me. It brings me peace and wonder and joy and happiness and well being. It brings me order and simplicity and hope. It brings me richness and diversity and complexity.

“I can get up in the morning and go without my kalimba walk, without playing and writing music on a kalimba, but it doesn’t quite feel like living to me anymore. Without kalimba I just don’t feel happy or balanced.

“I can go into the bank or the store without a kalimba in my hands… but people don’t always recognize me without my little song!”

Mark Holdaway, 2017

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