Music of the Week: November 11, 2022: Marimba Medley by Goede Hoop Marimba Band

Goede Hoop Marimba Band | Education Africa

Goede Hoop Marimba Band | Education Africa

Our Music of the Week is a joyous performance of a medley of different pieces adapted for and played on the marimba. These girls from Goede Hoop Primary School near Johannesburg are playing with a confidence and rhythmic ease that may strike a little bit of envy in Western listeners.

The medley—a combination of themes from the popular African song “Zamina mina” (adopted by Shakira for the song “Waka, Waka”), the 1960s hit “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” and Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”—showcases the wide-ranging repertoire of this young all-female marimba band from South Africa.

In the performance captured in this video, the children were playing at the International Marimba and Steelpan Festival, the largest event of its kind in the world, which has brought together thousands of people from all over South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Swaziland every year since 2012. The festival’s highlight is a marimba-playing competition, with many school bands joining. The Goede Hoop girls learned to play the instrument supported by a project of the non-profit Education Africa, an organization that for 30 years has helped poor and disadvantaged South African children access education and learning.

The project’s “Marimba Hubs” aim to teach through the joy of playing and creating music. The unique teaching methodology applied requires no prior knowledge of music. Children and teachers alike can learn a piece of marimba music in less than an hour. Besides the fun of making music, the marimba education has additional benefits in training the minds and social abilities of the participants. The children learn to listen and generate a high level of concentration, with the marimba technique of playing with both hands strengthening both hemispheres of the brain.

Here is the Goede Hoop Marimba Band playing Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria

South African school marimba band plays exhilarating Vivaldi | Classic FM

South African school marimba band plays exhilarating Vivaldi | Classic FM


The marimba on Wikipedia

Education Africa’s “Marimba Project”

CNN Inside Africa Report, “The Magic of Marimbas”

International Marimba and Steelpan Festival

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