I teach music from Mozambique to my 5th graders because it is a great way to introduce the concept of chords (on which we spend a great deal of time in 6th grade) and include a lot of syncopated rhythms. Within the music of Mozambique, I focus on two elements: the Timbila ensemble and Ngoma drumming.
Timbila music is perfect for elementary general music classes because they are easily adapted to Orff barred instruments. Here is a video I like to show my students (and point out that the leader is younger than they are!):
I found a wonderful book a few years ago when I was fortunate enough to see Walt Hampton's elementary student group perform at the Texas Music Educator's Conference, and I use his arrangements, or modified versions of them, to teach the Timbila ensemble music on xylophones. If you can, grab your own copy of this book- you seriously won't regret it! The arrangements are written to be performed on Orff instruments and the teaching instructions are laid out very clearly, so it makes it much easier to teach (and for students to learn!).
(The book is also available on Amazon, but without the CD as far as I can tell)
Walt Hamptom's background, and the basis for the book, is in the marimba ensemble from Zimbabwe. However the Zimbabwean marimba ensemble is a modern phenomenon that comes out of the Timbila ensemble tradition from Mozambique, so the style, techniques, rhythms, and instrumentation are almost identical- just slightly modernized and simplified for the purposes of teaching elementary students! I explain all of this to the students to help them understand the connection between what they are playing and what they see in the video examples I show them.
Because of the Zimbabwean influences in the Timbila music we perform, and the instruments from other African countries (mostly Ghana) that I include, we actually end up studying the basic geography and culture of several African countries in our studies. A word of caution: be careful to distinguish from which part of Africa each element you study originates. Because the musical traditions of many African countries are so historically intertwined, I think it is OK to mix and mingle various instruments and styles (especially at the rudimentary level that elementary students can realistically achieve). However, I think it is important to explicitly tell students when you do so, and never generalize and say that an instrument or style is "from Africa". If you are interested, you'll find the visuals and worksheets I use for teaching basic facts about Mozambique as a country and its instruments in this set:
That's everything I teach for music from Mozambique. Do you teach Mozambican music in your class? I'd love to see any additional ideas and resources you have in the comments below! And don't forget that there are tons of posts related to world music being linked up the whole month of February. Check out the posts below and be sure to keep checking back this month for more ideas. Here's the schedule of countries/cultures I will be writing about over the next several weeks (country names will link to posts once they are published):