Maria Minnaar-Bailey

Maria Minnaar-Bailey

Maria Minnaar-Bailey grew up in rural Zimbabwe in the late 1960s as a “missionary kid” whose parents worked for the Swedish Lutheran Church. Maria's love for the music and culture of Zimbabwe was nurtured by her father, Olof Axelsson, who was a teacher, church musician and ethnomusicologist. He became Director of Kwanongoma College of African Music in 1972, and moved his family to Bulawayo. As a result, Maria learned how to play African marimbas in her early teens at Northlea High School in Bulawayo. Northlea was one of the first high schools in Zimbabwe to have a marimba band, and their teachers, students from Kwanongoma College, included Sheasby Matiure. Maria became leader of the Northlea Marimba Band at age 16, having already arranged music for marimbas at that time.

Maria moved to the United States in 1984, followed shortly by her marimbas which she had shipped from Zimbabwe. She has started marimba bands in almost every town she has lived in, including Brenham, Groveton, and the Colony, Texas. She has played and taught marimba and choral singing ever since at numerous workshops—amidst a busy career as a Physician Assistant, mom, and other pursuits in between—and has written three marimba teaching books since 1999: Chaia Marimba Music Books 1, 2 and 3. Maria also builds marimbas, when time allows, with her husband Martin and believes that everyone deserves the joy of music; that playing marimbas, singing, drumming, and dancing are some of the most delightful ways to achieve it.


Name Sessions Enrollment
Intermediate Marimba for Teachers - Marimbas Just for Fun
Marimba, Music Educator: Adults; Intermediate
Session 3 (Fri 3:30 PM) 7/10 students
Intermediate Marimba & Singing - Shosholoza
Marimba, Singing: Teens, Adults; Intermediate
Session 6 (Sat 3:30 PM) 18/18 students