SHELL Invaders Steel Orchestra recently hosted a one-week pan camp for its youth band members at the panyard on Tragarete Road, Woodbrook. The camp consisted of 30 children from six to 15 years.
The camp focused on the holistic development of the participants through a programme which included the teaching of both music theory and practical, the history of Invaders and a tour to the MHTL Starlift’s pan workshop which focused on the making of the instrument.
Shell Invaders coordinator and music tutor Atiya O’Neil said in a media release that the objective of the programme was to encourage learning in an interactive and enjoyable climate.
Under the music theory module the children were taught about the rhythm of notes, time values, clef signs, line and spaces and sight reading of music manuscripts. Within four days they learned to play three pieces of music the National Anthem, Finesse by Bruno Mars and a classical selection Carmen Overture by Georges Bizet (1838-1875).
The children were also encouraged to research the history of the legendary Invaders Steel Orchestra. This knowledge was further reinforced with daily discussions and fun quizzes, the release said.
At the pan workshop at MHTL Starlift’s panyard, the young pannists were instructed by Roisha Edward and Starlift members and were introduced to the fundamental techniques of making a pan such as sinking and marking the drum and measuring the notes.
Speaking of the camp’s benefit O’Neil said, “The children of Shell Invaders Youth Steel Orchestra are very receptive when it comes to learning music on the national instrument. The introduction of music theory and connecting it to playing the pan really made the process of learning music less complicated. Teaching the children brought me great joy as I observed their development of an appreciation for the culture of Trinidad and Tobago.”