Pan in Schools

Music education not only enhances a child's academic performance in maths and science, it also encourages teamwork, communication and other social skills that are critical to the success as an adult.

Intercultural education also has a marked effect on the social and personal development of an adult.

Pluralism in practice means that different cultural and ethnic groups in the society do not merely exist side by side but understand sympathetically each other's folkways, lifesyles, customs, literature and aspirations. 

This is now a challenge in education as the diversity of the school population has resulted in the need for an appropriate response. Hence schools have a crucial role to play in attaining the aims of multicultural society.


The teaching of pan in schools began in 1969 in London. The tutor was Gerald Forsyth. He began teaching at Islington Green School and before long a department for steelpan tuiton was set up.  Over the next ten years there were more than 150 steel bands in schools and countless community based bands.

In 1975 Arthur Culpeper introduced steelpans to schools in Manchester. Arthur passed away in November 2007 and in July 2008 many of his former students staged a concert in his memory.

Previously, access to steelpan education was only for a small population. Today many schools use steeldrums alongside traditional instruments for music education. 

The style of teaching has proved to be both socially and economically fruitful for education establishments.