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Steel Pan Trust
Sort Code. 09-01-28
Account no. 53304640
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“Steel Pan For Everyone”
London based & working Nationally
We run regular community sessions as a FAMILY
Young at Heart
Emma joined our online classes in July 2020. Emma had been experiencing financial hardship, depression and loneliness since April due to being made redundant during the pandemic. She was struggling with motivation and contacted us as she enjoys music and joined our classes 3 days a week for 8 weeks. Within the first 2 weeks Emma reported back feeling much better and had a new job 3 weeks later. She said her mood improved massively since the start of the pandemic; “these classes are great. I am so busy and stressed these days, this is the best way to relax and think of something nice.”
Stephen joined our second round of online sessions in September 2020. He was extremely nervous as had never played an instrument and wanted to find a new activity to keep his mind occupied during the lockdown. Stephen found our online classes and spent 8 weeks learning to play the steel pan. He learned 4 different major scales and a song that he then performed for his family. Stephen said his wife and children noticed a significant difference in his mood and he is very glad he joined.
Sarah is 15 years old with special needs. She joined our Steel Pan FAMILY classes in 2014 and attends our sessions weekly. Sarah was extremely shy when she began and had a lot of problems concentrating during sessions. After 1-year we noticed a significant difference in Sarah. She has made several friends and has come out of her shell. Her schoolteacher said it has increased her confidence massively at school and noticed a huge improvement in her concentration. Additionally she now has a very good understanding of rhythms and has taken part in live showcases.
Tom aged 43 has special needs and joined our Steel Pan FAMILY in 2015. He is a part of a larger special needs group that attend occasionally. Tom likes to attend weekly. He uses percussion instruments over steel pans as finds this more enjoyable. Tom’s key workers are very enthused by his progress, musical development and live performances with our steelband at local community events. Tom really enjoys our sessions and tell his key workers all the time “this is the best class ever”.
David attends our Steel Pan FAMILY occasionally with his daughters. He was searching for an activity he could do as a family since his divorce and becoming a single parent. David said these sessions made a huge difference to his family dynamics by having a fun activity they could do together.
Output & Impact
St. Pancras Steel Pan: 60 Years on Celebrating 60th Anniversary of
Carnival at St Pancres Town Hall held by Claudia Jones
Comments from adult pannists:
“It is very easy to learn if you are a beginner, the instructors can ease you into it, or give you more challenging parts if you can manage them. You leave every session with a sense of accomplishment and an extra 'pep in your step.”
“I chose steel pan as it also has a physical aspect that other instruments do not. Playing the steel pan gives my arms and legs a workout while satisfying my love of playing and listening to music.”
“I was able to get ready and leave the house even when my mood was very low and I always left feeling much better. Steel pan sessions became one of the few activities I engaged in regularly.”
“Learning new songs helps to distract you, as you are totally focused on the lesson. Hitting the pans also help to relieve stress and reduce anxiety. You leave the lesson feeling euphoric, which lasts for hours afterwards.”
“My son and I played together for a while, but he had other sporting commitments which took precedence. However, I continued to play because I found playing steel pan to be a great stress relief – for the two hour session it would take my mind off any worries or anxieties in my day to day life and I could immerse myself in learning the notes to play for a couple of hours hence my nickname of #pantherapy .”
“I’ve found that playing steel pan has made me more productive in my business because I would come out of my class buzzing and be in a great place to do an hour of business activity, also with my increasing memory and mental stimulation involved in playing pan.”
“Its really great to see how we have struggled to learn a song initially to getting it under our belt. Really rewarding feeling and feeling proud of ourselves individually and as a group.”
“When I initially started I was a little apprehensive – could I do, would I hold the rest of the group up etc. But it really wasn’t like that. It was really good to play.”
Comments from professionals:
“The Steel Pan Trust embodies co-production in action as instantly an ‘us’ is built when complete strangers come together and play a few rhythms and tunes. It creates community cohesion and lets people create something beautiful together which they might never have imagined beforehand.”
“It has been refreshing and uplifting to see everyone so engaged, focused working in synergy and connecting to each other through the universal language of music. One participant said that she felt elated by her participation in the workshop and would like to participate on a regular basis to this type of experiential workshop.”
“The children enjoy presenting and seeing other performers. (steelpan) also helps with behaviour as the children focus and concentrate in class. And it’s a confidence booster for shy kids. “
“We have several school bands but steelpan is the ‘go to’ band when we have an event – they are so quickly ready to perform. The steel band has great recruitment as many kids want to do it. The tutor runs classes an entire morning. I’m a classically trained musician, so steelpan is entirely foreign to me, but I think its great and the Headteacher is supportive.”
“I think steel pan is the most wonderful thing for children to learn because it suits people of all abilities, academically and physically. And it means they don’t have to read music, they internalise their musicianship and they play from memory and its absolutely wonderful for their education.”