Our Approach to Steel Pan Lessons
Here at Tampa Music School, your Steel Pan teacher will champion your individual sound as well as encourage your input on repertoire choices.
Steel Pan performance is meant to be a joyous celebration of life, and your lesson time will reflect that tradition. Your collaboration with your Steel Pan teacher will be both technically thorough and richly creative.
As they increase your abilities, upper elementary through high school age students will have the opportunity to perform with Tampa Music School’s Steel Pan band, the Show Steelers. Within this group, you will not only continue to learn discipline in your performance, but also learn to work as a team. Our students go on and on about the fun of playing in this special ensemble. The Show Steelers have participated in many local and statewide exhibitions and festivals.
Of course, most students don’t come to us with prior experience in Steel Pan, so lessons must start with the basics of good musicianship.
We Teach the Fundamentals
A good musician must first have a competent grasp of the inner workings of music in general. Your performance will be a much more meaningful experience if you understand the building blocks that make up your repertoire. This knowledge is gained through instruction in music theory, ear training, sight reading, and musicality.
Mastering these skills is a huge part of becoming a well-rounded performer. Your Steel Pan teacher can effectively weave this instruction into your normal lesson time.
We Teach Proper Technique
At the same time that you’re learning basic music principles, you will also receive instruction in proper Steel Pan technique.
Your teacher will work with you to establish proper balance, spacing, stance, and drum placement.
Once correct posture is established, your Steel Pan teacher will instruct you in proper mallet grip. Specific “touching” movements (as opposed to hitting) will produce the bright, bouncy sound consistent with Steel Pan music.
Additionally, you will learn exactly how notes are played on your Steel Pan as well as proper execution of chords, scales and sustained notes.
We Tailor Instruction to Your Goals
Steel Pan players enjoy performing music from many different genres. In addition to traditional island folk tunes, Steel Pan is also a fun vehicle to perform styles such as Jazz, Latin, and Classical.
Your teacher will be happy to give you exposure in many different types of music. Maybe you will pick one style that you are passionate about, or maybe you will thrive on dabbling in a bit of everything. The choice is yours. Your Steel Pan teacher is there to support and inspire you.
As well as exploring different genres of music, students are encouraged to bring their personal favorite music playlists to lesson time. Nearly any song can be adapted for the Steel Pan. Tampa Music School believes that if you truly love your repertoire, it will shine through in your performance.
If you or your child want to learn a truly unique and fun instrument, why not consider Steel Pan lessons? Here at Tampa Music School, we are thrilled to be the only school in Florida (and maybe the entire United States) to offer a community accessible Steel Pan band.
Steel Pan is the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago. It looks like a sawed-off steel drum with a concave lid. To play this unique instrument, the player (called a pannist) strikes Indented ovals within the lid with rubber tipped mallets. The instrument is tuned so that the player can produce different pitches in the scale by striking in various places.
Steel Pans come in several different classifications, such as tenor, rhythm and bass. Pans can be suspended from the body for mobile use or mounted on a stand.
Proper performance on a Steel Pan produces a bright and exciting sound that you may identify as an island or Caribbean sound. Professional pannists can play with great speed and are capable of producing a rich variety of chords and sound combinations.
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Our Steel Pan Teachers
The value of a partnership between an inspiring musical mentor and a dedicated student cannot be overstated. Every instructor at Tampa Music School has a vast knowledge of their instrument. They are passionate about passing down their love of that instrument to their students.
Frequently Asked Questions About Steel Pan Lessons
What is the minimum age to start steel pan lessons at Tampa Music School?
Steel pan lessons are ideal for students of all ages. We especially recommend steel pan for children in elementary school. At this age, children have the desire to try new things, the ability to learn rhythm and other musical techniques, and the capability of concentrating during lessons and practice sessions.
Do I need any prior experience?
Whether you’re new to percussion or are an experienced steel pan player, you’re welcome at Tampa Music School. Our instructors specialize in teaching students of all experience levels. We get to know your music goals and customize lessons to your needs so that you develop essential musical skills that form a foundation for your future success on the steel pan and other instruments.
What styles of steel pan can I learn?
Steel pans are found in jazz, Latin, classical, island, and dozens of other genres, and the instrument is available in various styles and sizes. You can learn to play any style of music and any type of steel pan at Tampa Music School. Share your preferred style and musical goals with your teacher and prepare to perform on a stage, in a group, or for your own pleasure.
What materials will I need?
Our experienced teachers customize steel pan lessons to your unique needs, interests and goals. Talk to your teacher about the specific materials, including method books, mallet, and steel pans, you need for success.
Is steel pan the right fit for me?
Your creativity can shine as you plan the steel pan. The instrument uses your entire body and allows you to express your emotions and personal style. Get in touch with your ancestral roots, form a bond with people in your community, and create your own music when you learn to play the steel pan.
Why Come to Tampa Music School for Steel Pan Lessons?
Successful musicianship requires more than knowing how to hold the steel pan mallet and touch the instrument. You also need to know how to read music, execute chords, and achieve tempo. We teach you these and other basic music principles at Tampa Music School so that you can become a well-rounded musician. And because music is a creative and fun activity, we provide an engaging and inviting studio where you can express your individuality, get creative, and have fun as you learn. Our community-accessible steel pan band is also the only one like it in Florida.
What Are You Waiting For?
Just think about it. You could begin today to develop a skill that relatively few possess. Steel Pan truly brings the party to any occasion, and our instructor can’t wait to introduce you to this unique and complex instrument.
Here at Tampa Music School, we realize that Steel Pan is a new instrument for many, so feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Ready to see for yourself what Steel Pan is all about? Call us today at (813) 837-9245 and set up your first lesson.
My daughter had a great time at camp! She talked about it everyday. It built up her confidence and gave her a taste of many different instruments!Jana Lindsay Tallent | Parent
My son is a returning student and he loves the instructors! We feel very fortunate that he is well supported and learning a lot!Gabriela Martinez | Parent
We love Tampa music school! All the instructors are awesome and my daughter has made tons of progress!Lindsey Rae Graves | Parent
This is just an awesome music school! From the School owner Matthew Maines to my Instructor Milani this is just a top notch bunch. I would definitely recommend this school to others looking to learn a new instrument or perfect their skills!J.J. S. | Parent
“What a wonderful music school”
The teachers are very friendly and helpful. Thank you Tampa music school !Melody T. | Parent
“I’ve been going to Tampa Music School for almost a year now”
I have learned so much about working within a band. Matt has been very supportive of all members and has an obvious understanding of how each instrument within the band can be showcased and contribute to the overall sound. I’m very grateful I’ve found such a nice studio right in my community.Barbara B. | Parent
“My son is a returning student and he loves the instructors!”
We feel very fortunate that he is well supported and is learning a lot!!Gabriela M. | Parent