Mbira Lessons - We teach mbira to all levels, in our home or yours. By arrangement. We have launched an Mbira Course book and CD package, Kushaura 1, plus a second package to accompany and build on this, called Kutsinhira 1. Check our 'Mbira Book and CD' pages for more details. We also teach annually at the SOAS university summerschool in London. And we are beginning couses in Brighton and London.

Private Functions - We play for many events including weddings, conferences and exhibitions. Please contact us if you are interested. We can provide acoustic traditional Mbira up to a large Mbira Reggae band, plus many other skills such as dance, storytelling and drumming.

Dandaro - Dandaro is a gathering of spiritual friends. We gather regularly to pray, share spiritual stories, advice, dreams, visions and reflections and to meet with our spirits.

CD-Disc copy
2 mbiras

Linos Wengara demonstrates how to hold Mbira for primary school children

We teach Mbira to all age groups and all levels, from complete beginners to advanced players. We can teach individually or to a large group. When we teach people Mbira we teach only traditional songs. We teach in a traditional way, as we were taught ourselves. We begin with simpler notes and as the person gets deeper into Mbira, learning songs and developing their skill, we add more complex variations.

We find our books and CDs useful as a reference for students to take home with them, as we found that most students want to write down and record what they learn anyway. Our package makes it easier, clearer and saves them valuable time in the lesson.

When we meet new students or those who we have taught before, we can provide Mbiras for them to play during the lesson. We have Mbira to sell which we have imported directly from makers in Zimbabwe. We also make Mbiras here in the UK and have these to sell.

In Zimbabwean culture, Mbira is rarely played alone, and in the same way we like to teach students a full picture of Mbira culture as their interest develops. Mbiras are usually played as a pair or even more, so we teach variations which communicate. There should be traditional vocals, many variations, which we also cover in our teaching packages. The traditional accompaniment for Mbira is Hosho (shakers made from gourds) and Ngoma, the Zimbabwean type of drum with a deep sound. We can teach how to play these in a traditional way, to accompany Mbira with the correct rhythms and on the correct beat. Of course people dance to Mbira music, so we can happily teach many styles of traditional dance which go with Mbira music.

The other instrument that mixes with Mbira is the Marimba (wooden Xylophone). We play Marimba songs that link closely with Mbira, and the variations are based on traditional Mbira. We use Soprano and Alto Marimbas. We also make and sell Marimbas.

We sometimes use Mbira in different ways, for example we are well known for playing Mbira Reggae as a full band. However if we play an Mbira Reggae gig, we always begin with traditional acoustic songs, just Mbiras and vocals. This actually introduces Mbira to a whole new audience in a new setting, and this is something we feel proud of. We have many activities including teaching, DJing, recording etc but our band Zimbaremabwe always returns to traditional Mbira culture, that is the foundation of our group and our work. When it comes to teaching Mbira we always teach in the traditional way.

We have a variety of albums available; at our gigs we mostly sell full band albums with mixtures of full band traditional music, Mbira Reggae and some acoustic. For those who want more acoustic albums for listening closely to the Mbira, we also have these.

soas group2
soas group

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