Why set up a steel band?

CultureMix Steel Band Festival 2018 Western House Steel Band perform with the Schools Orchestra perform image by Ben Taylor Hewitt

Schools set up steel bands as an ideal group-learning activity enhancing cohesion and diversity. A challenged student with a short attention span can flourish just as well as the bright academic who plays and reads music.

Learning to play steel pan is holistic and physical, like dancing. Players can progress quickly to performance level, bringing pride and a sense of achievement to the individual, the school and the surrounding communities.

Here are more reasons:

• Steel pan is accessible making it relatively easy to produce music that is satisfying to the player

• Literacy and numeracy are enhanced through learning song structures and understanding a range of rhythms

• Although it takes years to achieve virtuoso standard acceptable results can be reached in a short period of time.

• Players develop good hand to eye co-ordination

• Memory skills improve as steel pans are taught orally

• Playing in an ensemble develops key teamwork, communication and listening skills

• The discipline of playing steel pan fulfils many National Curriculum requirements including understanding the separate parts within a piece of music.

Chapter 3 – Which instruments?