Students at 3 secondary schools across the island have received some critical help in completing their music practicals.
This through the assistance of the National Cultural Foundation, which has given the music departments of the Alleyne School, St. Leonard’s Boys’ School and the Christ Church Foundation School access to steel pans for their students.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, singing and the playing of certain wind instruments in groups was restricted in schools across the world in order to reduce the spread of the virus.
This also affected students in Barbados, leaving them without the means to complete their music practicals during this time. However, through the NCF’s initiative, forty-two pans have been gifted to the schools with each school receiving six Tenor Pans, two Double Tenor pans, two Double Second pans, two Double Guitar pans and two 4-Cello pans.
Cultural Officer, Music Education Kevin Moore says the project allows for the continued growth and expansion of the notable music programs in these schools. He says it gives access to a real-world instrument in the classroom, which would help improve the students’ musical literacy and create viable vocational opportunities for those who take it seriously.
Mr. Moore says the move also augurs well for the revival of the steelpan within the Barbadian community, as it will work hand in hand with the recently re-launched Barbados National Steel Orchestra in ensuring that there are opportunities on hand for the students to excel.
Steelpan sessions will occur during allotted class music sessions with music teachers where students will learn about the design of the instrument and the basics of creating a good sound on the steelpan. An extracurricular school component will also be included for those students passionate about the instrument and interested in furthering their craft more.
The in-school aspect will be spearheaded by regionally renowned pan ace Mark Forde, through his duties as Assistant Musical Director of the Barbados National Steel Orchestra.
Students who excel in the steel pan will also have the opportunity to become a member of the Barbados National Steel Orchestra.