Education Work

Chartwell's Work in Schools

CHARTWELL is a singer, composer and instrumentalist who specialises in traditional Shona music. He is regarded as a World-Class Mbira player and uses the instrument as an education tool, to encompass both traditional and contemporary perspectives, challenge stereotypes and encourage creative engagement.

The workshops introduce the Geography of Africa as a continent and Zimbabwe as a country within that continent. They also explore the history of the British Empire in connection with Zimbabwe, as well as the history of the Ancestors, which is a central part of the African belief system.

Chartwell draws on his experience of growing up in rural, segregated Zimbabwe to build bridges between cultures and make links between contemporary Zimbabwe and life in Britain today. His interactive workshops incorporate music, song and dance

How might Chartwell work in your school?


For larger groups, Chartwell can perform a 45 minute concert in which he introduces young people to mbira music, the instrument and its context. A shorter version can be used for assemblies.


Chartwell translates Shona songs into English to give students a taste of the educational value of bilingualism.


Chartwell can pitch the complexity of the song to the ability of his participants. Sessions may include the understanding of poly rhythms / cross rhythms, hand clapping, singing and dance.


Chartwell uses his degree in Ethnomusicology from SOAS to deepen his students understanding of different African instruments and the music that they make. Using a variety of techniques including poly-rhythms, call and response, polyphonics and hocketing, the workshops explore music from around the World and how artistic collaborations can influence and even create new genres.For Music Technology students, Chartwell can highlight the effect of modern technology on traditional music.

Download Education leaflet

Chartwell's Work in Universities

Chartwell holds a Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and diplomas in recording music technology, music business studies and composition (Kingston University, Surrey). He has lectured at SOAS, Edinburgh University, Oxford Brookes, Bournemouth University, South Devon College and Plymouth University. In 2003 he held the coveted position of 'Arts and Humanities Research Board resident performer-researcher'.

‘Zimbabwean Mbira Music on an International Stage: Chartwell Dutiro’s Life in Music’, edited by Keith Howard and Chartwell Dutiro, was published by Ashgate in 2007 and is available from the SOAS bookshop (for mail order enquiries e-mail or Amazon).

Chartwell is available to lecture on a range of subjects including ethnomusicology, shamanism and healing, music in the community and culture in Africa.

“A Zimbabwean musician operating in a European environment . . . Reflecting on his country, its political and religious background, contemporary challenges, and developing his musical repertoire by keeping connections to his ancestors as he teaches, works and performs”

Dr Keith Howard, School of Oriental and African Studies

Download Chartwells CV

Zimbabwe in Devon Camp Coombe Farm

Every year in early July at Coombe Farm, Tiverton, a peaceful Devonshire valley is transformed into a small piece of Zimbabwe, as it hosts an intensive long weekend mbira gathering of song, mbira and dance. Led by Chartwell Dutiro with help from Denise Rowe and Emily Bryant, this is a unique opportunity to learn new skills, build bridges between cultures and immerse yourself in the music and spirit of Zimbabwe.

“I love teaching dance at the camp, it's very dear to me, and I love dancing to mbira, it takes me somewhere very special.”

Denise Rowe, a camp dance teacher

“Thank you for the camp last week. I had a very wonderful time with the music, the excellent people, and really enjoyed playing.”

Jenny Darwin, a camp mbira player

The cost of the camp is £210 (deposit £100), which includes full catering with vegetarian, vegan and Zimbabwean food. You’ll need to bring a tent and other camping equipment! For information on next year’s ‘Zimbabwe in Devon’ camp, and other mbira gatherings run annually in Scotland and elsewhere, please contact Chartwell.

“The ‘Zimbabwe in Devon’ mbira gatherings provide an opportunity for all to participate in a resemblance of life and culture in a Zimbabwean Village. The two very different environments and cultures, one from Southern Africa and the other from Northern Europe, are far apart and yet able to weave together in ways unimaginable. The people who travel to Devon from all over the world for these camps live as a family, sharing music, dance, song and crafts, eating together, exchanging thoughts and words and respecting the silence, as sleep and the natural world enfold and nurture until the next sunrise.”

Catherine Rose, a camp regular

Download Coombe Farm Mbira Gatherings leaflet

Mhararano the Mbira Academy

CHARTWELL Dutiro’s vision

The Mbira Academy ideology is built upon the values of connection, learning and change. ‘Mhararano’ which means ‘the cross roads’ in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, is an educational movement responding to and connecting with nature and the individual needs of people.

In developing the Mbira Academy we want to acknowledge and support the ancestors, the elders and the younger people, with wisdom and understanding of the life challenges that they face.

OUR MISSION To build and grow the Mbira Academy to explore community, identity and learning through the mbira.


A unique partnership between Chartwell Dutiro, the Zimbabwean master mbira player, singer, composer, ethnomusicologist and teacher, and ‘Space’, the new multi-disciplinary centre for the arts at Dartington Hall is providing some very special opportunities for local people as a prelude to the opening of ‘Mhararano’, the UK’s first ever Mbira Academy.

‘I am looking forward to the beginnings of collaboration between Dartington Space and Mhararano The Mbira Academy. These community participatory  sessions and activities are specifically aimed at building up a sustainable community programme and recruiting participants’

Chartwell Dutiro

“It was so wonderful to have you all here. I think that everything went really well and it was a very good starting point for further developing mbira gatherings in our area. You three make a wonderful teaching team and are a lot of fun to spend time with. I can't wait to continue to learn more at future gatherings, I love the organic format for learning. Feels much more natural and not forced in any way.”

Tabatha Schneider-Glawe - Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada

"I have been very inspired by mbira since starting to play. I thought you would be pleased to hear that I have decided to spend at least the next year working on it extremely intensively. ... Thank you for doing all this work to bring mbira to people like me."

Jenny Darwin

Download Mhararano The Mbira Academy leaflet

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What they're saying about Chartwell

The only criticism from pupils was that the time they spent with you was too short! Which is a great endorsement from young teenagers. They were all very engaged with you and the idea of music and culture. And George – whom you were most kind to – still remembers part of the song. It was really good to see a young man who often struggles – have the confidence to learn the language and the music – and be able to retain it and perform in front of his class mates. Those moments of enlightenment are very special and are what education should be all about.

Jenny Simmons Brannel School. St. Stephens. Cornwall