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Liza Field

Steel Drums

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I have always been keen to have some steel drums for my department. However due to the huge expense of a start-up set (around £3500) I have never been able to get any. I was browsing through a catalogue and saw some mini pans at £50ish each. Do any other depts. have these? If so are they any good? I have heard in the past that steel drums do not actually last very long in the classroom and need to be retuned often. Has anyone had such problems?

Any advice would be much appreciated. B)

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A previous HoD purchased as set and then left before they arrived. Unfortunatly in the period between her leaving and me taking up post 18 months later the pans had been left in the musicroom and had been badly treated. Its taken us nearly two years to get replacement parts, tuning and repairs done. Expensive it was, but now we have a growing steel band whose first performance should be soon. We hope to have a specialist tutor joining us next September to take the band on. We have already been apprached by a feeder school about playing at their next fete and offered cash!

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If the pans are not left out do you find that they need to be frequently tuned? I am currently trying to develop the ICT at school and any free money is going towards computers etc but I am quite keen to buy some of the entry level pans for pupils to use during a Caribbean projects I teach in year 8. My thinking is that as these are only £60ish each then I could buy a couple a year and slowly build up a class set of them that way. I would not have any bass or cello pans though - but these seem very expensive (£700-900). This is just something that I cannot consider on a normal music dept. budget.

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Apologies for the delay in responding, school show and various prize givings etc.

The pans do have to be protected and we only let those who are members of the Steel Band use them in lessons. We did buy some of the small table top pans, I think from Omega. These we use in our world music units together with the steel pan sounds from keyboards to provide the lower parts. It's not ideal but does work for Y 7 & 8.

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