Which kalimbas are used in retirement homes?

Visit kalimbas are a very interesting musical instrument. They are most often used in audio therapy, providing soft, crystalline sounds that calm patients. Some retirement homes use them for relaxing music and entertainment events.

If you want to know which kalimbas are used in retirement homes, you've come to the right place! We'll take a look at the different models available, and give you some tips on how to find the right instrument in the right size.

The different types of kalimbas

Kalimbas come in many designs and are available in many different sizes. Here are the main types of kalimbas that can be found in nursing homes:

  • 17- or 10-touch kalimbas: these are the simplest kalimbas to play and are often the most common in nursing homes;
  • 4-ray or 6-ray kalimbas: these vibrators and maracas are often much appreciated by patients and are very easy to play;
  • Radius fingerboard and rustic fingerboard kalimbas: these instruments are more complex and difficult to play, but offer a unique and very realistic sound experience;
  • The 8-string kalimba: this type is one of the oldest, but its unique sound makes it a very popular instrument with the elderly;
  • The 9-key and 12-key kalimba: these instruments are made from environmentally-friendly materials and have a very pleasant sound.

What's more, there are kalimbas suitable for children, and some are equipped with a built-in microphone that allows patients to play with a variety of sound effects.

What size kalimba to choose?

The size of your kalimba will depend on the level of the players and the type of music to be played. If the musicians are beginners, you can choose a 17-key kalimba or even a 10-key kalimba for a simpler sound and smaller keys. For more experienced players, a 4-spoke or 6-spoke kalimba is preferable, offering a more complex and varied sound.

If you want instruments with varied sound effects, you can also choose an 8-string, 9-key or 12-key kalimba. This type of instrument is ideal for patients who are able to engage in group musical activity, for whom varied sound effects are required.

The advantages and disadvantages of kalimbas

Kalimbas are an excellent alternative for nursing home patients who enjoy making music. The advantages are many:

  • Their varied sounds calm and relax patients;
  • Their small, rounded keys are easy for older people to operate;
  • They are compact enough to be easily stored;
  • Their light weight makes them easy to transport in medical settings.

However, kalimbas can have some disadvantages, including:

  • Their restrictive sounds can be limited;
  • Their keys are not very comfortable for experienced musicians;
  • Their sounds sometimes resemble those of a xylophone.


Kalimbas are an excellent option for nursing home patients. The different models available enable the elderly to play a variety of pieces. Their ergonomic shape and light weight make them easy to transport and handle. If you are interested in purchasing a kalimba for a nursing home, please consult thekalimba.com 👍 to find the instrument that's right for you