Information for Teachers

Workshops for Teachers

Zimfest recognizes the growing popularity of Zimbabwean-style marimbas in schools, and takes seriously the need to educate teachers about the instruments and the culture. We will continue to offer workshops taught by experienced educators and/or culture bearers that are suitable for the classroom teacher.

Feel free to sign up for any workshop on the Zimfest schedule. In addition to workshops to increase your marimba repertoire, offerings include songs and choral pieces appropriate for school marimba groups and choirs; workshops on Zimbabwean drumming and dancing; storytelling and games for children; and cultural presentations.

Note to Teachers Bringing Student Groups

Visiting groups of children are welcome at Zimfest! If you are a classroom teacher, or summer school or camp leader wanting instruction in Zimbabwean music or dance and a fun time for your class, bring them to the festival to enjoy the music and marketplace and take a workshop or two.

One of the wonderful aspects of Zimfest is that people come together from different communities to all learn together. If you are the leader of a student or community performing group, please do not register members in your group for more than half the maximum enrollment of any specific workshop. Zimfest may remove registrants who ignore this request. If you want your group to take a private lesson during the festival or on Thursday during Prefest hours, see below. Festival staff can help with group enrollments as well as setting up private or Prefest workshop sessions. Contact for assistance.

Youth Safety

Our host Oregon State University takes the safety of youth seriously and is committed to providing a safe environment for all, including minors who participate in programs and activities on campus. If you are a teacher or leader of a youth group including one or more minors under the age of 18, and are planning to come to Zimfest 2023, you will be required to follow OSU standards regarding youth safety. OSU recommends that each group have at least one adult chaperone for each eight youths. The leader and all adult chaperones should familiarize themselves with OSU’s Youth Safety Standards here. Please contact the Festival Coordinator at in order to ensure your compliance with the Youth Safety Standards if you have not already done so. 

Teacher Membership

The Zimfest Association offers a Teacher Membership ($125 annually) that allows a waiver on registration fees ($10 or $15 each) for groups of up to 20, ages K-12. The Teacher Membership is intended to encourage newcomers to the festival, so at least 50% of your group should be first-time Zimfest attendees to qualify for the registration fee waiver; specific workshop fees will still apply.

Prefest and Private Workshops

Prefest: There will be no time set aside for Prefest in 2023

Private workshops may be arranged during regular workshop hours, at lunchtime or after the late afternoon session if the desired teacher and suitable classroom space are both free.

If you or your group would like to schedule a private workshop, contact us at and we will put you in touch with the teacher(s) and help determine a time and location for the workshop. We strongly suggest that you schedule your private workshops well in advance (six weeks recommended) to give Zimfest and the teachers enough time to plan for your personalized workshop.

Once your group has agreed on a time with the chosen teacher, please get back to us at . Zimfest will provide workshop space, including marimbas if needed. All Prefest workshops taking place in workshop rooms rented from the host institution must be entered as private workshops in the Zimfest registration system. Zimfest will charge each participant the workshop hourly fee ($17.50/hour) and will pay the teacher the hourly rate for teachers (depends on enrollment, but generally $60 per hour). This arrangement does not preclude your group from negotiating an additional private instruction payment (or tip) to the teacher, however!