from the blog.

Learn Something New In Retirement

Last Sunday my steel band, the Panhandlers, played in the Pan New England Festival in Gorham, Maine.  It was super fun. I had been told about the fantastic pan programs in Maine, and especially about the teen bands that we would hear. They did not disappoint.  The kids sounded great, plus, they danced as each band played — 17 bands in all — filling the space with unbridled joy.  And then there were the veteran bands such as Flash! In the Pans, from Blue Hill, who exceeded all expectations, with their tight engine room and challenging arrangements.

Surprisingly, the band I found most interesting was set up right next to the Panhandlers.  Their arrangements were not flashy, and their technical prowess was not showy. But there was something compelling about their sound.  They were called Vintage Steel, and they all looked to be retired professionals.  As Vintage Steel performed, a sense of pride shone through.  The focus and heart that each member brought to the band added up to an incredible sense of accomplishment, and it was clear that they appreciated the opportunity to make music together.  It was wonderful to hear.

“… maintaining strong cognitive skills is a high priority as [people] age, and learning an instrument is a great way to work on memory, concentration and coordination.” – Meredith Hamons, founder and clinical director of North Austin Music Therapy

There are many great reasons to study music, at any age.  Over the years, I’ve had countless people tell me they wish they had had the chance to play an instrument growing up.  The good news is, it’s never too late.  Especially with an instrument such as the steel drum, which is easy to play.  Check out this article from Capital Senior Living, to learn about some of the benefits of taking up a musical instrument during retirement. And then consider a week long class with Calypso!  

You may also like

The Power of a Positive Culture

A few weeks ago I had a great day at dealer.com, where I led musical team building workshops for six teams. In total, I taught steel drumming to about 40 people, all of whom were open to learning and engaged in the creative process. On the dealer.com web page there is a section about the […]

Let Your Employees Know They Are Valued

When my daughter recently told me she received a bonus at work, I thought back to my days as a teacher.  The rewards of teaching in the schools are many, but they are not monetary. Profit sharing, commissions, bonuses — these terms are foreign to the public education vernacular. Having said that, there was the […]

Remembering Ellie Mannette, the Stradivarius of Steel

Trinidadian Ellie Mannette passed away on August 29, 2018, at the age of 90. He will fondly be remembered as the Stradivarius of Steel. Mannette was an inventor, innovator, master builder, tuner, teacher and ambassador of the modern steel drum.  He was the first to “sink” the surface of the drum. He shaped convex notes […]