Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Summer Class in Bellingham, Washington - Crafting Your Marimba, with Tom Bourne

Weekend class with marimba builder Tom Bourne - June 27-29

Where: Bourne Marimbas in Bellingham, Washington USA

Cost: $250, plus your accommodation and food

Escape the summer heat for a long weekend in Bellingham, Washington and learn everything you need to know about building marimbas for your local school or marimba band. Since 1995, Tom Bourne has built around 1500 marimbas of all sizes for schools and invites you to his shop to share his knowledge.

We will focus on the fabrication and tuning of marimba bars. As you gain hands on experience, you can expect to make and leave with a high and low bar for your planned marimba - the first step toward measuring out and building your instrument.

Also in the workshop we will explore the acoustics of marimba bars and resonators, along with ways of constructing and outfitting frames of all sizes. Discussions will include wood selection and various practical matters for builders, with plenty of time to address special concerns and gain experience with various woodworking tools. We can also discuss the possibilities for your marimba project, focusing on how to plan and design your instrument.

Bellingham, Washington is located just south of the Canadian border between Seattle and Vancouver B.C. It is near all kinds of great summer activities on the water and in the mountains. Bellingham has a modern airport with direct flights to Denver, Las Vegas and other cities in the western USA.

This class is suitable for adults and teens who can use, or are willing to learn to use, a few basic power tools and hand tools safely.  Helpful also is the ability to distinguish musicals pitches relative to one another (which of two tones is higher or lower, for instance). If you have any concerns regarding your qualifications, let me know and we can figure it out.

I can provide suggestions in procuring lodging in Bellingham, many options available.

Class limited to 10.

To sign up:

for further questions, contact Tom at:



  1. I wish I could come to this, but we scheduled our vacation at the same time. I hope you have a good turn out so you will do it again next year.

  2. Well, keep in touch Dave, it will take a couple weeks or so to find out if this class flies. Would only take 3 or 4 participants to make it go, and if others show interest but can't make this date work maybe something else can materialize.

  3. I hope your workshop was a success. I would be interested if you plan on doing another one in the future.I am interested in your work with schools and teaching youth.
    Aloha from Hawaii,