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7th Graders Design and Build Their Own Kalimbas

Jennette Mullaney

Engaging, interdisciplinary projects are an important part of an Avenues education. This past spring, our 7th graders had the opportunity to complete a project combining history, science, design and music. Each student created their own kalimba, a 3,000-year-old musical instrument that originated with the Shona people of Zimbabwe. 

After learning about the instrument’s long history and cultural significance, the students studied the science behind sound. At the same time, they started building their instruments, cutting, engraving and painting them with a design that held personal meaning. Finally, after completing their kalimbas and learning how to play them, the students put on mini concerts for the 1st and 2nd graders. 



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