About the Organization
Founded by Leigh Solomon Pugliano in 2014, Barrels to Beethoven is dedicated to preservation of the steelpan through inspiring educational programs and innovative manufacturing techniques. We provide engaging, entertaining, and interactive opportunities for the public, especially young people, to learn the history of the steelpan, the building and tuning process, music theory, performance skills, and playing technique.
Our mission is to provide impactful arts education, teach accurate historical and cultural content, and inspire a new generation of steelpan builders, tuners, players, and teachers.
Barrels to Beethoven utilizes creative placemaking strategies to build community, engage residents, and present a more expansive image of what Black art is and where it comes from. In the Caribbean, the steelpan is a means of expression, creativity, innovation, access, competition, celebration, and connection. Our work follows the steelpan tradition of inherently collaborative and community-oriented art, based on principles of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe music, making, and the arts to be an anchor of community connectedness– facilitating wellness, belonging, resilience, and joy. Our programs and curriculum are based on acute knowledge of steelpan history, data-driven music education techniques, and youth development expertise. Youth who participate in our steelpan education programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, self awareness, and increase self-esteem.
About the Steelpan
The steelpan is a handmade musical instrument built from a 55-gallon steel barrel. The steelpan is a family of musical instruments ranging from the tenor or lead steelpan (highest octaves) to the bass steelpan (lowest octaves). The steel band movement began as a way for Afro-Caribbean people to make music while challenging their society’s economic and culturally oppressive systems. After the banning and condemnation of many Afro-Caribbean art forms and cultural rituals, the steelpan emerged as a near perfect representation of a colonized, but resilient people, using both rhythm and melodic tones to create music.
Let’s Play Pan 21+
Let’s Play Pan 21+ will feature Caribbean-inspired food and drinks that guests can enjoy while they learn to play the steelpan. Participants will learn various songs in a steel band setting and are able to perform together by the end of the night! A great cultural and musical experience!
All proceeds from this event will support The Equity | Impact Center in providing capacity-building, leadership development, and organizational development support to advance social justice missions. The Equity | Impact Center launched in June 2021 to address systemic inequity through broad social, cultural, and economic solutions and comprehensive, intentionally designed initiatives.
Register today for our Pan at Home & Virtual Lesson Program. In this program, students will keep a steelpan at home and receive weekly individual virtual instruction. The program also includes group gatherings and a final showcase. The cost of the 14-week program is $550.00
Contact us for more information or for a scholarship form.
Adult Band Class
The Adult Band program offers the opportunity for the community to learn to play the steelpan in a 45-minute band setting. Each session will run for 4 weeks. The first session begins on September 15, 2022. 6PM
The cost of the program is $200.
Program Offerings and Workshops
We offer a broad range of learning opportunities for folks of all ages, including:
Instrumental Instruction: Individual, Group, Adult Band, and Youth Ensemble.
Steelpan in the Classroom: A curriculum developed specifically for ages 8-14 and brought into the school classroom. Sessions can be developed from six week to year-long courses.
Pan Camp: A week-long summer camp for youth ages 8-14. During the week children are introduced to the steelpan, taught steelpan technique, the history and culture of the instrument and performance skills. At the end of the week, the camp puts on a performance for family and friends!
Pan Builders Education: An in-depth course on building and tuning the steelpan that will help to develop a newly skilled generation of builders and tuners.
Let’s Play Pan: Adult workshops and team building programs.
Lecture: Explains the history of the steelpan and includes interactive demonstration