Clinician and educator, Bryan Garbe, discusses the merits of starting a steel band at any educational level.
Directing a steelband should be the same idea as directing an orchestra. The only difference is that a steel band is constantly jumping around.
When introducing steelpan to a band or person that has never played, I find that there are a lot fewer challenges you have to overcome compared to teaching other instruments. Steelpan is clear and easy to start playing. Once you get the basic technique down, it’s all about jumping on to an instrument and having fun playing music. The more fun you have, the easier and quicker you learn.
The sound of the steelpan gets a high energy out of kids, teens, or adults and you can use that energy to teach them about music theory much easier than most other instruments. Whether it’s reading charts, learning music theory, song structure, or just about the vibe of being in a band, using steel drums as an educational tool for music is a sure thing.
Through my experience playing with beginner groups, to pro mass bands, to creating my own program, I have learned that this instrument brings such a unique joy to those listening and playing. When playing in a band or just learning this craft, you create a musical connection that you will take with you for the rest of your life. That’s why this instrument is so intriguing.
If you are a music teacher and are struggling with getting your kids excited about learning music, teach them steelpan. If you don’t know how to play and are interested in learning, contact me or any of the clinicians below and we will gladly help you out.