Look for Rockcreek Steel Drums on the Young Audiences of Maryland website for booking or for more information.
Steel Drum Experience
The Rockcreek Steel Drums Experience is a fun, interactive workshop that gives your group the experience of playing in a steel drum band. Each person is set up with his/her own drum and taught how to play a well-known song. By the end of the workshop, they’re able to play the whole song together as a band.
This is fun low-stress activity that everyone will be talking about. People are often amazed at their ability to make music in such a short time. The workshop is both challenging and enjoyable. Included in the workshop is a short presentation that covers the history and culture of the steel drums and how they are built and a 15-minute steel drum solo concert. No musical experience of any kind is required. We teach up to 50 people at a time, ages 8 and up in a 60 minute class.
The Rockcreek Steel Drum Experience uses the Single Guitar Steel Drum, our version of the traditional Caribbean steel drum instrument made famous in 1950’s Calypso music. The single guitar has a 13-note chromatic range and can play songs in any key. Each drum is hand built by Rockcreek Steel Drums from a 55-gallon steel barrel with a two foot diameter.
Steel Tongue Experience
The Steel Tongue Drum Experience is an alternate workshop for venues where space is limited and where keeping a low volume is an issue. Steel Tongue Drums are much smaller and quieter than the steel drum. They have a 12-inch diameter. Their softer tone and portability makes them the perfect choice for smaller settings. The steel tongue drum experience can be taught right in the classroom or church pew or convention lecture seat. The talk and solo performance are also included in this workshop.
We can add a Bermuda Blue Calypso band performance following the workshop. This option is popular for events that conclude with a cocktail party or meal or service.
We also offer a one-song student “concert”. This concert can be performed for larger audience and can be scheduled for later in the day or even the next day. For many participants, this is their first time playing music in public, so it is an exciting and fun experience. An example of this may be a church that holds has an Experience on Saturday and then plays their song as part of the service on Sunday.
Song Selection Examples
Mary Anne, Blue Skies, Moonlight Bay, You are The Sunshine of My Life, Yellow Bird, Moon River, I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You, What’s Going On, Come Back Liza, Amazing Grace, Take Me Out To The Ball game, Evil Ways
Experience Sample Schedule
10 minute talk on the history and development of steel drums
10 minute concert/demonstration
10 minutes learning to roll notes and use mallets
30 minutes learning one entire songs melody line
How the Experience might work for your group
Schools are able to expose hundreds of students to the steel drum while teaching them its history and how to play it. This makes the material appropriate not only for music classes, but for world culture classes, social studies and even physics classes (a more detailed talk on the sound waves and tuning of the steel can be included for science classes).
The School can use the Experience to test out the interest in the possible development of a steel drum music program, and teachers as well as students can learn the important basics of the instrument.
The workshop is large enough for a couple classes (or even a couple schools) to split the cost of the event. In schools where the music department has been cut back due to funding cuts The Steel Drum Experience can inject music education into other courses. The Steel Drum Experience can be used as a motivational tool as reward for students who earn the chance to participate.
The Performance could be a song played at the end of the morning announcements or at a school assembly or for a sports event or even in the lunchroom. Photos of this workshop are always great for the yearbook or school promotional brochures.
The Steel Tongue Experience could be for long term, but ambulatory patients or used for team building with the staff or volunteers. The public performance can be in the cafeteria or chapel or in activities room.
Corporate Team Building
The Steel Drum Experience is excellent for corporate team building. The group learns to play together and this theme is worked throughout the workshop. Participants learn to let go of the fear of doing new things must blend their sounds together and become one voice. Playing a song together, harmony and melody is a pretty empowering experience.
The public performance can be at a company picnic, a cocktail hour following the workshop, at the beginning of an annual meeting or at a restaurant where the group would be dining after the workshop.
The Steel Drum Experience is a great way to get parishioners of all ages to have fun together. We’ll work with you to pick an appropriate song for your group. The church can sponsor the event and invite the public or co-sponsor it with another group to share expenses.
The natural performance for church groups is to learn a song that can be played at a church service or an after church event. The Experience could also be used as a fund raiser if admission were charged.
The Experience is a great structured activity for groups or conventions looking to add an event that is educational and fun. It may be offered as a spouse event or fun for the whole family. It’s a great way for a cruise ship to use the main theatre in the daytime. Resorts and hotels can use it to fill up a restaurant during off-peak hours. The final performance can be worked into an existing entertainment schedule or as an opening act for a scheduled event.
Photos of People having fun learning to play the steel drums are great to use in brochures or websites promoting something unique and fun to do.
The Experience can be a part of a day or evening arts program. It also works well during a weekend family day so that other family members can also participate and learn something new and fun together.
Many of the people in retirement communities remember the heyday of Calypso in the 1950s and are more aware of the steel drum instrument than some of the younger generations. We reinforce this connection by selecting songs from that era to learn in the workshop.
Photographs of the residents enjoying playing the steel drums is a natural fit for promotional brochures or community websites to attract residents with fun activities like this.
One of the best uses for Rockcreek’s Steel Drum Experience is to use it as a fundraiser. By connecting the workshop to a party with a Caribbean theme, groups can sell tickets to the workshop and/or party. This could also include a performance by Bermuda Blue. Adding a dinner to the event would raise the ticket price, which would increase the amount of money raised.