Teacher Application Info

Zimfest 2023 teacher applications are closed and the festival is over. There will be no Zimfest (USA) in 2024. Applications to teach or perform at Zimfest 2025 will probably be available in January, 2025.

Online Application Process Review

  1. Please read all of the information on this page before completing your application.
  2. Then submit a) a teacher application form. Once you have submitted a teacher application, you will be sent a link to propose one or more (in-person) workshops.
    b) Submit a workshop proposal for each workshop you would like to teach.
  3. You will receive a confirmation email that your application and workshop proposals have been received. Applications will not be accepted after February 28, 2023.
  4. We will notify you in late March with our decision about which applicants and workshops have been selected. A proposed teaching schedule will be sent to all selected teachers several weeks before online registration begins.


If you have questions, please write .

Teacher Selection

Zimfest strives to assemble a teaching staff of highly experienced teachers and accomplished musicians best suited to the needs of the festival. A successful teaching application will demonstrate both the applicant’s expertise in the proposed instrument or musical style, as well as a proven record of teaching excellence as shown in references and previous workshop evaluations.

Workshop Proposal Information

Zimfest 2023 hopes to provide a wide variety of workshops in marimba, mbira, hosho, drumming, singing, dancing, guitar, children’s song and games, language, cultural presentations and other topics. Most workshop sessions are scheduled for two hours, but you can offer workshops of shorter duration (recommended for hosho, dance and presentations) or longer ones up to 2.5 hours in length (marimba). Another option is to offer multi-session or double workshops that take place over two sessions, such as two meetings of two hours apiece.

Types of Workshops

To help you plan your workshop proposals, please keep the following in mind:

  • We will try to offer at least one workshop per music category in each time slot.
  • Beginning, Novice and Intermediate level workshops are in the highest demand– especially in marimba and mbira. Based on previous enrollments and feedback, Advanced level marimba and Advanced level mbira workshops are not as popular.
  • Please submit no more than two workshops for any lesser-known instrument (matepe, chipendani, for example); at least one should be at the Beginning level. The festival is unable to provide these instruments, so please bring enough for your class.

Student Skill Levels for Marimba and Mbira Workshops

Please use the following guidelines to identify the skill level appropriate to each workshop on marimba and mbira.


Students who have never touched the instrument to those with less than a year experience.
If you are proposing marimba workshops at the Beginning level, please include in your workshop description whether the workshop is restricted to true beginners, or whether the workshop will be open to students above beginning level (for example, teachers).

Novice (formerly Advanced Beginning)

Students who have played the instrument for at least one year. This includes marimba students who can play a part on at least five songs and mbira students who can play at least two songs.


Students who have played the instrument for at least three years AND can learn parts relatively easily. This includes marimba students who have a basic understanding of African rhythm, have played mbira songs on marimba and can catch musical cues. For mbira, students who know at least five songs and can play in the kushaura and kutsinhira positions.


Those students who meet the intermediate criteria PLUS learn parts very quickly, have a strong sense of rhythm, and can play fast.

Student Skill Levels for Topics other than Marimba and Mbira

  • Presentations should be targeted to people at all skill levels.
  • Workshops in singing and dancing will attract most participants if they are pitched to all skill levels.
  • For workshops in drumming and other instruments, we will accept proposals for all levels, or Beginning and either Novice or Intermediate levels. Advanced level workshops in these topics are likely to attract few participants.

What Zimfest Can Offer Teachers

  1. $30-70 US per workshop hour depending on workshop enrollment
  2. For marimba workshops, Zimfest will provide a standard set of 7 marimbas (3 soprano, 2 tenor, 1 baritone, 1 bass) plus one extra soprano or tenor with mallets and hosho. Most marimba sets will have F#s.
  3. Zimfest will have only a limited number of instruments for mbira, hosho, and drumming workshops.
  4. Exposure to a large number of Zimbabwean music players and fans, with a contact listing on the festival website as well as the festival guide.

Requirements for Zimfest Teachers

All teachers must:

  1. Sign a teacher contract or agreement and the leadership agreement. Copies of the Workshop Cancellation Policy and Teacher Contract will be e-mailed to all selected teachers in April 2023.
  2. Attend a teacher orientation meeting on Thursday, August 3, 2023 (time, location TBD)

Visa Information

Zimfest welcomes Zimbabweans and other individuals who are not US citizens to teach and perform, but under US visa regulations, all non-US citizens will require a working visa to teach and perform at the festival. Be advised that Zimfest does not sponsor visas. The information we have received about applications for US performance visas (visa type P, O, Q, and a few others for which sponsors in the US apply) is that the U.S Immigration service is severely short-handed and delaying actions on applications for months. Therefore we do not recommend applying for these types of visas in 2023 unless you already have a application in process. Zimfest will be inviting individuals wishing to apply for B-1 Visitor visas on their own behalf in 2023, and can accept those already in possession of them. Note that this category does not allow you to perform in paid concerts. For additional information, visit the Applicant Information page. If you have questions, please contact the Zimfest Guest Coordinator at .