Dogma Dance Off - Oct 21, Cherry St. Tavern

A Night of Bob (Stagner) w/ Kenito Murray, The Heroes Are Horses, Jon Brumit - Nov 11, Barking Legs Theater

Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris - Nov 15, Barking Legs Theater

History Funhouse: The Wayne-O-Rama Story - through Dec 31, 2023

Wayne-O-Rama is now closed! It was open from Nov. 19, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017. Designed by Emmy-winning artist Wayne White, it's a funhouse of Chattanooga history for all ages. Wayne-O-Rama is sponsored by See Rock City, Inc. and presented by The Shaking Ray Levi Society at the Tenn Arts space, with generous support from the Benwood Foundation, the Footprint Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the McKenzie Foundation.

Founded in 1986, the Shaking Ray Levi Society is a volunteer-run, 501(c)(3) non-profit arts education organization.

Make a tax-deductible donation to the SRLS using PayPal:

100% of your donation goes directly toward our outreach and project work.

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The mission of the Shaking Ray Levi Society is to nurture and support music, film, and performance art that is challenging, non-traditional, and falls outside the mainstream, in order to help nourish the cultural growth of Chattanooga.

This is done by sponsoring shows by artists recognized on a national and international level, supporting original work by area musicians and filmmakers, and engaging the community through workshops and educational outreach programs.

"Only in our country are our children not receiving the benefits of the dynamic energies taking place in our culture and in the heritage of our culture and so, the work of the Shaking Ray Levi Society in my opinion is very important because they are seeking to provide an alternative to the marketplace dynamics." - composer, saxophonist and MacArthur fellowship recipient Anthony Braxton (video)

"SRLS is a very sound organization that has made a strong contribution to Chattanooga over the years" - Dr. Thomas Wolf, WolfBrown

The Srls is a funded agency of Allied Arts.



The Shaking Ray Levi Society (SRLS), as part of its mission to serve the Chattanooga, TN community by supporting, producing, and presenting diverse genres of music and cinema, is dedicated to bringing educational opportunities to underserved members of the community at large. For many years the SRLS has brought hands-on experience in the discipline, art, and practice of musical communication to area schools and educational venues of all varieties. Dennis Palmer and Bob Stagner, two of the SRLS' founding members, have impacted the lives of countless children through their interactive methods of musical pedagogy.

As part of our recent expansion into the field of cinema, new plans are being made to reach those members of the community who are interested in film production through guided production-oriented internships and experiential programs. One such program is to involve a number of film production internships for high school and college students. Interns will work on the set of a feature-length film that SRLS is set to begin producing in late 2004. For more information, click here.

marimba workshop lesson plan

Bob Stagner and Dennis Palmer

Phone: 423.267.6688

P.O. Box 21534,
Chattanooga, TN 37424

The Shaking Ray Levi Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to education through innovative and exciting music. Based in Chattanooga, this group, comprised of two professional musicians and numerous guest artists, travels extensively and conducts music workshops for local schools. Workshops can be modified to suit any grade level, elementary through high school. The Shaking Ray Levi Society is dedicated to the creative possibilities inherent within each student. The programs offered expose students to multi-cultural music and ideas. At the same time, programs emphasize the importance and necessity of the individual personalities, skills and environments of each student while achieving an exciting end result.

Three Day Marimba Workshop:

  • Students build 2 x 4 marimbas
  • Students create an instrument of African origin
  • Students learn how African music creates a sense of community
  • Students learn the physics involved in the creation of a real musical instrument
  • Students create instruments using objects from their own environment
  • Students work with instructors on an individual basis
    Includes study guides

Three Day Hand Drum Workshop:

  • Students learn to play a hand drum
  • Students learn to understand the physics of sound
  • Students learn that sound is a method of communication
  • Students build self esteem as a result of improved communication skills
  • Students create instruments using objects from their own environment
  • Students work with instructors on an individual basis
    Includes study guides

Design Your Own Workshop:

  • Work with professional musicians in your classroom
  • Teach students to create musical instruments from everyday objects
  • Unlock the creative potential in students by allowing them freedom to express themselves through sound
  • Build the self-esteem of individual students as they acquire a new skill
  • Increase teamwork and communication in the classroom by introducing new methods of communication through music



Lesson Plan: Making Marimbas

Long Range Objective: Students will observe the elements of design and physics involved in the creation of musical instruments.

Instructional Objectives:
1. The student will construct a marimba when given cut pieces of 2x4 lengths of wood.
2. The student will identify the node of each board.
3. The student will demonstrate the pentatonic or five-note scale.
4. The student will perform using the marimba

Instructional Considerations:
1. Students must be reminded to follow proper audience etiquette and show respect for performers.
2. Students will need a work area to lightly sand boards.
3. Students will be comfortable sitting on the floor to perform.

The Shaking Ray Levi Society, (SRLS), a Chattanooga-based improvisational music group, will perform a completed marimba.

Instructional Strategies:
1. The SRLS will demonstrate the steps to make the marimba.
2. The SRLS will demonstrate how to find the node of the marimba by sprinkling sawdust on the board and lightly tapping.
3. The SRLS will demonstrate the five-note or pentatonic scale.

The SRLS will provide the 2x4 lengths of boards and other materials used in constructing the marimbas. The mallets used to strike the marimbas must be provided by the teacher (regular rhythm sticks used in most elementary music classes are adequate).

Student Practice:
1. Students will work in groups to construct marimbas.
2. Each student will play the five-note or pentatonic scale.

Supplemental Activities:
1. Students can be encouraged to design other musical instruments.
2. Students can make oral presentations on how their instruments were constructed.
3. Students can look at various pictures of Western and non-Western instruments and determine how they were made.
4. Students can speculate on how folk instruments evolved.
5. Students can identify ways instruments have been modernized such as through the development of plastics and electronics.

Students will be evaluated on their ability to work cooperatively to complete marimbas and explain how they were made.


p.o. box 21534 chattanooga, tn 37403 - phone/fax: 423.267.6688
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