Seen the steel pan/drums in action on a recent trip to the beach and want to learn to play yourself? The steel pan is the national instrument of the twin island country of Trinidad and Tobago, and taking up the instrument can give you the fresh taste of the Caribbean every time you play it. At Eagle Rock Music Studio, we offer steel drum lessons to both novices and more advanced players, as well as to those of all ages.
The origins of the steel pan can be traced all the way back to the French Revolution in 1789, which caused existing French farmers and their slaves in the Caribbean island of Martinique to immigrate to the nearby island of Trinidad. The slaves were not allowed to take part in Carnival, and formed their own celebration called canboulay. The makeshift instruments used in canboulay eventually evolved into the steel drums of today, receiving international attention for the first time after an incubation period of more than 150 years when the United States Navy visited Trinidad in 1941.
The steel pan is used in Latin and Caribbean music, but it also appears in jazz fusion and the occasional rock song, as well — the alternative band Jane’s Addiction’s signature song “Jane Says” features steel drums. Many different steel pan instruments exist that range in pitch from soprano to mezzosoprano to alto to baritone to bass.
We recognize that everyone learns differently, so all of our steel pan lessons are conducted privately. Our learning environment is both structured and supportive, which we believe is essential to fostering creativity and transforming our students from dreamers to doers. Our instructor will first work with you in identifying what your goals are and then help you by creating a detailed action plan to see those goals fulfilled.
Eagle Rock offers two course paths for students: one for those who wish to play competitively or professionally, and one for those who play for recreation or for their own personal enrichment. If you have an upcoming audition or are applying to a music conservatory or school, we can certainly help with preparing for that. We always have skills, songs, styles and theory for you to work on, but if you have material you would like to go over in the lessons, that is always fine, as well, since we encourage learning whenever possible.
Eagle Rock Music Studios is located just north of downtown Los Angeles between Glendale and Pasadena. We look forward to seeing you come by. For more information or to set up a lesson, please call us at 323-309-8467.