About Workshops

Zimfest offers an outstanding selection of top-quality workshops on Zimbabwean music and culture. This year’s schedule includes 109 workshops during 9 sessions, taught by 35 expert musicians from Zimbabwe and North America.

Please do not sign up for any workshop that is beyond your experience level!

Participant Playing Levels

In order for teachers to accomplish the goals of their classes, it is important that participants sign up for classes that are appropriate to their experience and playing level. Signing up for a class that is beyond your level creates major problems for the teacher and the other students. If the teacher deems that the class is above your level you may be asked to observe. Please refer to the following guidelines when choosing your classes.

Introductory: Appropriate for those who have never touched the instrument through folks who have played less than one year.

Advanced Beginning: These people have played the instrument at least one year. For marimba they can play a couple parts on at least five songs and for mbira they can play two songs.

Intermediate: For marimba, those who’ve played at least three years, can play a few parts on at least 10 pieces, have good technique, understand the rhythm, form and structure of the pieces, and can catch cues and understand how to move through sections. For mbira, those who know at least 5 songs and have played in both the kushaura and kutsinhira positions.

Advanced: Same as intermediate PLUS: learns quickly, is comfortable playing fast, has a strong sense of rhythm and at least 3 years playing at performance level. For mbira, able to learn a kushaura and kutsinhira part in one workshop.


Most, but not all, teachers allow audiotaping of workshops for personal use. Please see the “Materials” section of the workshop descriptions for information on each workshop.

Ways to View the Workshop Descriptions

  • Click the links at the top-right of the page to view workshop descriptions by category, by session, or by teacher.
  • See the Workshop Schedule for a complete list of workshops. On the Workshop Schedule page, click a link to view the description of a single workshop.
  • Log on to Online Registration. You can register and view the current status of workshops (open/full). You can also view the workshop schedule and click links to see single workshop descriptions.
  • Browse the Registration Guide, available as a PDF file suitable for printing, or contact our office if you want to receive a printed copy in the mail. Be aware that changes occur after publication in late April.

How to Register

You can register in advance either online or by mail. Or you can wait until you arrive at the festival and register on-site, but many workshops will already be full. For instructions, please see the Registration Information.

Workshops and schedules are subject to change

Workshop Changes

Workshop changes do occur. Changes are incorporated into the web pages (but not the PDF) as they occur so that they are up-to-date. It’s wise to check the Changes & Corrections web page occasionally right up until the festival, if you’re taking workshops.

What to Bring

Bring any instruments you may need for your workshops, and consider sharing your instruments and/or bringing extras. Please contact us at 2004@zimfest.org if you will have extra instruments available.

Bring pens, paper, earplugs, recorders, extra batteries and tapes and whatever you need to make yourself comfortable during workshops.