As part of May Music Month marimba music making workshops are being held in Rotorua.

There will be seven school workshops - five this Monday at Otonga School's performing arts centre and three on Tuesday May 30 at St Mary's Primary School.

Organiser Jill Walker says up to 200 pupils from more than nine schools will take part, with workshops for absolute beginners.

There is also a community adults' workshop on Monday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm at Otonga School.


She says the marimba is like a giant xylophone, originally from Africa, and three people can play one at a time.

The lead facilitator for all the workshops is Neil Bruce, who will be supported by local marimba teachers Adele Lyons and Carol Smyth.

Neil says everyone can find the same respite, enjoyment and satisfaction from playing music.

He says the three person marimba, as developed in Australia and present in many local schools, is the ideal instrument for beginners to learn on.

"Practical music making as an artistic medium helps to focus attention, as we practice toward achievement, as we work as a team and most of all as we realise we are also having fun.

"These benefits also do not take account of music becoming a creative pursuit that provides us with the ability to be expressive, to communicate more deeply, and to feel and share emotions more honestly."

He says performance brings the best out in people and allows them to show their individual uniqueness while contributing to a collective whole.

The workshops are held in conjunction with Rotorua Lakes Council.

The adult workshop costs $15 and booking is essential. To book call Jill on (07) 362 0888 or email