Otto Gumaelius

Marimba Music From Southern Africa

Otto Gumaelius is a London based, Botswana raised, performing artist & teacher of southern African folk music on the marimba.


Diversity Day & Black History Month Workshops


Diversity Day Programmes

Playing African music on the marimba is a fantastic way to promote diversity and cross cultural understanding - in schools, in community settings and in the corporate world. The marimba combines the percussive element of African drumming with harmonious melodic expression, giving participants the ability to learn, play and create wonderful melodies, enhancing the musical experience and learning outcomes involved. In learning rhythms and melodies from southern Africa, participants are able to engage in a rich and meaningful new cultural experience and gain an appreciation for it.

 

Black History Month Workshops

Every October in the UK and every February in the USA is dedicated to Black History. It's an opportunity to share and celebrate all the great things that have come out of Africa and from people of African descent around the world.

Playing southern African folk music is an excellent way to celebrate Black History Month, as participants get a chance to learn more about the rich cultural history of the African continent. A broad and meaningful cultural background to the folk songs taught is given, and the marimba workshops can include call and response singing, clapping patterns, traditional hosho shaker patterns, drumming and simple traditional African dances.

 

Combining Cultural Workshops With Performances

Cultural performances and presentations can be incorporated into Diversity Day / Black History Month workshops, giving participants a much greater opportunity to engage with African culture. Participants get the chance to see professional performers showcase the cultural arts before (or after) doing it themselves. Amongst the possible performances includes traditional southern African dancers in full traditional gear with drumming and singing; and marimba performances with drumming, singing and dancing - also in full southern African traditional attire. 

 

LESSON SetUp

I teach by ear, the traditional African way, enabling learners to more freely engage their senses and be present in the music as a whole. Marimba classes currently accommodate up to 11 people at a time, using 3 sopranos, 3 tenors and 2 baritone marimbas. Classes are typically one hour long, and require absolutely no previous experience or knowledge of playing the marimba or of African music.

 

WHAT WILL Participants LEARN?

The repertoire taught includes music and rhythms from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana primarily, with material from other parts of Africa too. This includes original compositions, folk songs and contemporary covers. Participants will also get to learn about the background behind the folk songs they learn.

To add depth and dimension to the music, I also like to include a bit of traditional call-and-response singing, with the option of also learning how to play hosho patterns using traditional Zimbabwean shakers, clapping patterns, drumming and dance movements where relevant and/or desired.

 

Book A Marimba Workshop Or Request more information

If you'd like more information or you're interested in booking a marimba workshop for your diversity day programme, Black History Month event, or anything similar, contact me using the form below.  

 

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 Teaching African music on the marimba to school students in Surrey

Teaching African music on the marimba to school students in Surrey


 Cultural workshops and performances in Worthing celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday

Cultural workshops and performances in Worthing celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 90th birthday


 Cultural southern African performances during Black History Month

Cultural southern African performances during Black History Month


 Mixed adults and children  drumming workshops during  Africa Day festivities

Mixed adults and children drumming workshops during Africa Day festivities


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