SOLID STEEL – BAND WORKSHOPS

Teaching steel pans/drums

Solid Steel’s musicians teach the steel pans/drums either in private face to face lessons or online to individuals or groups with:

  • Music workshops for both children & adults
  • Steel drum workshops for schools
  • Fun steel band workshops for events
  • Steel band team builds for corporate clients

We are more and more frequently being called upon to provide the opportunity for our audiences to be interactive with our particular range of fun, educational, and inexpensive steel band music workshop services.
Among us we have musicians who have PGCE teaching qualifications, but most importantly we share a commitment to practice the highest teaching standards – whether we are hired to run workshops in schools, corporate team building activities, or ‘fun’ workshop sessions at parties.

If you are an educational establishment wishing to enrich the curriculum of your students or a corporate enterprise introducing innovative methods to motivate your employees, we can fashion the right workshop for you with the Caribbean drums we call ‘steel pans’.

In doing so we offer a great opportunity to our audiences for learning, communicating and exploring British diversity whilst celebrating a part of Black History that Solid Steel is very connected to.

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Steel band workshop in a Primary School

A steel drum workshop in a faith school

Steel band music workshops in schools

Our interactive ‘steel band workshops’ are also called ‘steel pan workshops’ or ‘steel drum workshops’ by some people. They represent a fantastic opportunity for active learning with children taking part in a really fun activity!

Our young audience will learn about the colourful history of steel bands and the making and tuning of steel pans in a diverse cultural context. This may be done in individual classes, year groups, or even assemblies involving the entire school.

Of course, we’ll also demonstrate the sonic differences between the different instruments and briefly demonstrate a musical rudiment like a major scale to make our audience’s experience as musically educational as it will be multicultural and entertaining. So we’re always looking for a nod of approval from the school’s Head of Music, as well!

We will also perform on our instruments choosing tunes with which our audience can identify to encourage enthusiastic participation. Reception classes may love ‘The Wheels On The Bus’, but a contemporary pop hit goes down much better at a secondary school!
Then it’s time for our young audience to have a go themselves and get to play in their own steel band!

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Corporate steel band workshop & team builds

We are often invited to provide fun workshops for adults in a corporate setting. If it’s an activity as part of a social event like a Family Fun Day then we are also happy to perform.
We can also provide a more serious and challenging type of workshop that is ideal as a corporate team build activity.

We have a lot of experience in tailoring team building sessions for both public organisations and businesses. We understand the different demands of this special kind of music workshop and know how to organise team building effectively, according to the numbers of participants and the time that is made available to us.

The steel pan is a very special instrument in terms of its suitability for musical learning. Even though playing a musical piece for the first time will always be challenging, producing a note is easy even for a beginner. People love hitting drums, because the sonic rewards are so immediate and satisfying. With steel pans, because they are tuned percussion instruments, participants have the added thrill of producing tones for actual songs.

Our professional facilitators can have total novices playing something very recognisable at the end of a workshop session, but to complete this challenge work colleagues will have to learn a lot about each other, discovering skills that best achieve the common musical goals we will set them; skills which will translate back to the workplace.
Groups are encouraged to select leaders and we encourage bonding within the group as well a competitive spirit when the teams compete against each other.
We know how to foster the motivation, communication, support and trust within a team that is required for a successful steel band performance. A winning team – fairly judged by the participants themselves – will emerge, but everybody participating will benefit from the experience. So, everyone’s a winner!

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England cricketers learn pan at a corporate event

What Our Clients Say

Anne Moseley of Somerset Bridge Primary School, Bridgwater

We had your two musicians for a school workshop today. I just wanted to let you know that they were absolutely amazing! I have spoken to all the teachers who attended each of their workshops and every single one said that the workshop was brilliant. Others said ‘those two guys got it just right, they were fantastic with the children’. Please thank them again from all the staff and children. We will definitely recommend you to others. Please use my comments on your website.

Eszter Mills of Formium Development Team Coaching, Enfield

Just wanted to say thank you very much for an excellent corporate development workshop session today. The team really enjoyed it, got a lot from it and sounded fantastic. Many thanks!

Sarah Whittaker of St Bernard’s Prep School, Slough, Middlesex

It was lovely to meet you and Mark at our school workshops yesterday, what a fantastic way to spend the morning! Thank you so much for making it such a good experience for the children– they loved it. Best Wishes.

Trisha Brown

I’m sorry that it has taken me a few days to get back to you!! I would like to pass on to you that the children loved it! They found it an amazing experience and thoroughly enjoyed listening to and playing the instruments. One child in Reception said to his teacher, after the assembly – ‘It was so peaceful’. Watching the joy and excitement on my classes’ faces when they were having a go was fantastic. It was a truly brilliant and new experience for the children. Thank you so much to you and Miguel.

Emma Claridge, Uxbridge

We booked the workshops for our Year 5 and 6 children and what a hit they were!! (No pun intended!) The children really enjoyed themselves; They were fantastic with them and the songs were being hummed all throughout the rest of the day. They even played the drums during lunchtime so that our Year 3 & 4 children had a touch of the experience. It was a fantastic day – thank you very much!

Laura, Brightlingsea Junior School, Essex

Solid Steel came all the way out to North Essex to teach our Year 6 pupils how to play the steel drums! Whenever I went to check how they were getting on, the children were bopping to the music (La Bamba) and having a great time. Great teachers, very calm and relaxed. I can’t recommend this experience enough. Absolutely excellent!

Stanley Primary School – Infants dept., Teddington

Thanks so much for your incredible performance on Thursday. It was brilliant as it was our annual Arts Week & the theme was ‘Global Trotters’. We thought you were all fantastic! We really enjoyed having you play at our school. The teachers & children loved it. So please thank all the other band members. You pitched it perfectly & you interacted brilliantly with the children. We look forward to having you again. Many thanks again.

Tanya & all the staff.

All at Dallington School, London, EC1

Thank you for the sound of summer – you were wonderful!

See Our Band!

Learn More From Common FAQs

We call them ‘steel band workshops’ (we prefer this term as it immediately identifies the team ethic our teachers prefer) although they are also known as ‘steel pan workshops’ or ‘steel drum workshops’. Drumming of any kind is great for kids and schools have access to it with the likes of our fabulous African or Indian drum workshops. But the opportunity to play our tuned steel pans/drums is unique with the steel band workshops we offer. The steel pan/drum is a unique instrument, in that because it is both a percussion instrument and it is tuned, our steel band workshop tutors can have children play them for the first time and produce something recognisable to their young ears. How this is organised very much depends on the numbers of children involved and how much time is available.

We offer 2 basic music workshop formats- one where there are just one or two steel drum/pan tutors and at least 10 steel drums/pans and another where there are 3 or 4 steel band members who would just bring their own steel drums/pans to teach the kids on. The first steel drum workshop package is more suited to handling larger classes with little ‘performance’, as such, required from our tutors. The second package is more suited to higher quality assembly presentations including performances, but with smaller workshops. That being said steel drum workshops can be tailored to the specific requirements of each particular school, so there is a lot of flexibility shown within each format.

All the steel pans/drums must be provided by Solid Steel. Our workshops are reasonably priced and represent great value for the benefits they bring- and we have a range of different packages to suit a range of budgets. We will also try and book the best teachers that are as local to you as possible to keep your costs down.

Some of them have PGCE qualifications whilst most have learnt the performance and teaching skills from their experiences in the University of Life. All will have formal music theory knowledge that is at least equivalent to a Grade 5. We have full public liability insurance cover and our talented and experienced tutors have all been DBS checked and will show their certification on their arrival if you haven’t already received it by email from us before.

We have provided workshops for Pre-schools, Primary schools with KS2 and KS3 students, SEN and Secondary schools and Extended Schools. Apart from teaching within the normal school day we have also played and run workshops for Inset Days, Parent and Child Creative Workshops, Summer Fetes, Fundraising events and International Evenings.

We have great teachers who will enrich the curriculum of your pupils and promote the children’s social and emotional development by providing the right stimulus to conquer shyness and lack of assertiveness. In our steel band workshops the kids will gain an understanding and respect for other ethnicities and cultures to encourage them further to embrace cultural diversity. At the same time, we will improve their motivation for learning with a really fun activity.

Our steel band workshops can be conducted with the correct social distancing etiquette and procedures necessary throughout delivery and regular sanitisation will be employed in the sharing of instruments. So unless the authorities deem them unsafe, music workshops can and should still be available. During this pandemic we have seen the free world embrace the social principles of Black Lives Matter. Our black artists are fully committed and active in both performance and the delivery of their steel band workshops in the Black History month of October even more now than ever before.

You may have seen Solid Steel instructing the contestants in ‘The Generation Game’ to play the steel drum in a YouTube video of ours. The show’s BBC producers knew that playing a steel drum or ‘pan’ is a lot of fun and, having seen one of our artist’s entertaining music workshops, paid us the compliment of inviting us on to one of their biggest Christmas specials! We do a lot of fun workshops for the likes of company barbecues and hen nights!

Whilst a regular steel band workshop demands that the tutors handle all of the instruction, our team building experience ensures that in these sessions work colleagues will have to learn from each other too, recognising the skills in each other that will best achieve the common goals that have been set for them. Our experienced facilitators understand the different demands of organising team building effectively, according to the numbers of participants and the time that is made available. Groups will be encouraged to select leaders based on their suitability and to organise those best suited for the different skills of playing melody, harmony, bass and percussion. In so doing, we’ll do our best to encourage a competitive spirit when the teams compete against each other. But we will always encourage bonding and camaraderie within the group. After all, when our clients learn to play a song together in a steel band with their colleagues it will be for many of them the greatest musical achievement they will ever achieve!

In the UK most companies embrace diversity of all kinds in their workforce. Our steel pan/drum musicians are great teachers who will help all the participants to gain an understanding and respect for other ethnicities and cultures to encourage them further to embrace cultural diversity and embrace the concept of teamwork! For those employees that are from an ethnic minority themselves- some of whom may feel there is a lack of representation at management level- a steel band team build will feel like a hug from the company to demonstrate how well they are valued, individually.