Call For Applications: Instrument Building Workshop Trainers


By Music In Africa…20 Feb 2020 Published under the Creative Commons Licence

The Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF), a non-profit arts organisation, is calling on trainers in instrument making to apply to facilitate a workshop with participants of different levels of proficiency and knowledge.


The workshop, titled the Instrument Building and Repair (IBR) project, encourages the formalisation and professionalisation of instrument making and repair in Africa, especially in relation to indigenous African instruments.

The first edition of the project was held in South Africa in 2016 and 2020 sees its second iteration, which will take place from 17 to 24 May.

Note: This call is for qualified trainers and not participants. A call for participation will be made in due course.


The IBR project will train participants to build and repair musical instruments. It is a seven-day workshop that will culminate in a concert with traditional instruments on the last day.

The MIAF is looking for two companies or individuals with strong experience and proven competencies to train participants under two categories:

  • Indigenous instrument (for 10 trainees): For example, marimba, mbira, umakhweyana, umtshingo, lesiba etc. Candidates are invited to propose their own instruments, provided that they can motivate relevance of such instruments. 
  • Conventional instrument (for 10 trainees): This category is for conventional instruments that are readily available on the market, such as guitar, violin, dulcimer and other related instruments.  Candidates are invited to propose their own instruments, provided that they can motivate the relevance of the instruments.

Note: All participants will leave the workshop with instruments they have made during the workshop. Your course plan and preparations should take this into consideration.

All participants will stay at the venue for the duration of the workshop. 

Key responsibilities

  • Provide comprehensive training on the building of your proposed (and approved) instrument. The training should also provide theoretical content. Duration of the training shall be no less than seven days, with the possibility of working on a weekend.
  • Purchase all materials required for the instruments.
  • Provide all the necessary equipment (tools/machines) required for the instrument-making workshop.
  • Assist in setting up equipment at the venue at least a day before the start of the workshop.
  • Where necessary, trainers may have to pre-prepare certain components of the instruments with a view to complete the full instruments at the workshop.
  • Provide a clear course outline to management before the workshop.
  • Discuss with management as needed to improve the offering of the workshop.
  • Prepare the components as per the agreed course based on the focus areas.
  • Submit a short report to management that must include:
  • An overview of challenges and highlights of workshop.
  • Final curriculum overview.
  • Short (half-page) summary on each participant including your recommendations on their instrument building career.
  • Recommendations on how to improve the workshop including your experience with logistics and planning leading up to the workshop.

Training dates are subject to change.


  • Proven track record as a trainer, at least 10 years training experience.
  • Exceptional instrument building experience and knowledge.
  • Professionalism. This includes being able to communicate efficiently with participants and the organising team at all times.
  • Trainers will be required to be punctual at all times.
  • Ability to deliver on time.
  • Ability to work under pressure.
  • All training sessions will be delivered in English.

How to apply

Submit the following requirements to Violet Maila at

  • Company profile or CV.
  • Indication of the instrument you wish to focus on and a brief motivation on why it is important to focus on this instrument.
  • Indication of potential focus areas in your course (this is just a short draft).
  • Indication of financial expectation.
  • Any other information that may support your application, e.g. previous training programmes, pictures, videos, articles etc.

The application deadline is 28 February 2020. Only successful applicants will be notified.

The Music In Africa Instrument Building and Repair project is funded by the National Lotteries Commission, Siemens Stiftung and Goethe-Institut.


Following our announcement of the 2020 Music In Africa Instrument Building and Repair workshops, and in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we would like to assure our community that we are closely monitoring and assessing developments with a view to make an informed decision. The overriding priority for the Music In Africa Foundation is the safety and security of our broader music community and everyone involved in staging this event. While it is likely that the event may be postponed to a later date, we encourage all interested parties to continue with application processes.

We will continue to communicate transparently with all stakeholders, and event partners as the situation develops.


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