Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2015 Contents A25
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The newest member of
Britain s royal family, due to
make an entrance this month
when Prince William s wife
Kate gives birth to the cou-
ple s second baby, will be
taking on one of royalty s
toughest roles---life as "spare
to the heir."
Unlike brother George,
born 21 months ago and ex-
pected one day to be
monarch, the younger off-
spring s future is less clear.
The "spare" role is an un-
defined one that allows more
freedom than that accorded
to a future king or queen. But
it also attracts massive pub-
lic interest and scrutiny,
while the chance remains to
step into the shoes of the fu-
ture heir should calamity be-
fall the elder sibling.
"I think the most difficult
thing about being the num-
ber two is you don t know if
by some misfortune you are
going to be called upon to
take the number one role,"
royal historian Hugo Vickers
"You never quite know if
you re going to be called
upon to become king, or in-
stead have what you, if
you re being really cynical,
could say is a relatively
pointless life." (Reuters)
"One good thing about music,
when it hits you, you feel no pain"
"Music is a more potent instru-
ment than any other for educa-
tion, because rhythm and harmo-
ny find their way into the inward
places of the soul"---lato
"This music school has
changed my life," said
Alexander, student at the St James
Police Youth Club, of his experi-
ence at the Music Schools in the
"I learned how to read music, I
learned how to play the pan better,
I learned how to play the saxo-
phone, trumpet, trombone, and I
really hope we have a third semes-
His direct, heartfelt statement
expressed the enthusiasm of hun-
dreds of youths who have found
personal meaning in the community
music education programme which
has been bubbling up through pan-
yards and other centres since 2012.
The programme teaches 84 con-
tact hours of music skills to com-
munities over a 12-week semester,
once a year, at several venues.
Recitals at the end of each
semester showcase skills learned.
Sponsored entirely by the State,
the programme is the brainchild of
the Director of Culture, Ingrid
Ryan-Ruben, who wanted to devel-
op music literacy anchored in the
pan, with flexibility to teach many
Now in its fourth year, the pro-
gramme, by all reports, is a huge
hit with students, tutors and com-
munities, so much so that now
there are limits to the class sizes.
Any age is welcome---some
learners are well into their 60s.
The programme is totally free to
anyone interested, with the State
supplying instruments, music text-
books and tutors, and collaborating
with existing community centres
to provide safe venues.
Fun, educational, holistic
The benefits are not singular but
holistic. First off, it s fun.
Ian Clarke, the programme s
coordinator, said that for many kids
(and some adults), it s the first time
in life they ve ever held a clarinet,
a pan or any other instrument in
their hands. So that in itself has a
big impact. The programme intro-
duces a new activity to many people
for whom music education was pre-
viously unreachable or unthinkable.
Next, of course, is actually learn-
ing how to play a specific instru-
ment. All centres teach pan; but
you can also learn the trumpet,
trombone, clarinet, guitar, tabla,
dholak, harmonium, or even the
saxophone, depending on the venue.
Skilled tutors teach basic playing
techniques alongside music literacy:
so students learn how to read music
notation, too. They develop the
beginnings of a new, non-verbal,
expressive voice of their own
"It s a great programme," says Dr
Roy Cape, the well-loved 73-year-
old saxophone player and leader of
the popular Kaiso All Stars band
who s been mentoring in the pro-
gramme since it began.
"As a young man, it took me 12
years---from 1950 to 1962---to buy
a horn. And today, Government is
buying instruments and paying
tutors a stipend to help people learn
music. It s a beautiful idea," said
Cape in a telephone interview.
Cape spoke of the power of
"Music can make you like an
angel, it is so wonderful. It is the
only universal language. I could go
to Russia, and once I can read the
music, I can play it.
"Music is also maths. In one bar
of music, you have a 64th of a beat,
and a 32nd of a beat.
"Music is about harmony, unity,"
said Cape: "In a band, 12 people on
a stage must synchronise to make
music. And we all feed off each
other. Making music together
involves active listening, and paying
attention. With discipline, diligent
work and commitment, imagine
what a band can accomplish. Our
band, for instance, has played in
festivals of 10,000 and 25,000 peo-
ple: they don t come to fight any-
body, they come to enjoy the music."
One far-reaching benefit of the
Music Schools in the Community
programme is its effect on personal
development. Over the months of
learning, a process of quiet trans-
formation often takes place, say
Youths and adults gain a sense
of accomplishment and pride; they
develop a new relationship not only
with an instrument but with them-
selves, becoming more alert, empa-
thetic, attentive, disciplined and
more open to creative thought. They
learn to connect with mentors and
the community in healthy, collab-
orative ways, say tutors.
Some parents say their children
become better in school: the music
not only balances the academics
but is a fun form of mental exercise
and play in its own right.
Some very strong mentoring rela-
tionships quickly develop between
music tutors and their students.
Each venue has on average five
tutors, so students can get a lot of
who come in to talk, inspire and
advise the students, have included
T&T musicians such as saxophonist
Roy Cape, jazz trumpeter Errol Ince,
steelband arranger Pelham Goddard,
and music arranger, engineer, drum-
mer and pianist Leston Paul.
How it began
"The panyard is sort of the heart
of a community," said Roy Cape. So
it made sense for the programme
to begin in panyards.
In 2010, Cabinet approved the
idea of music clinics to reclaim
neighbourhoods as well as help fight
crime. Initially called Music Schools
in the Panyard, the programme
began in 2012 with its first free com-
munity music classes at six pan-
yards. Those first sessions drew 353
students (roughly 60 per venue),
who received 112 contact hours of
tuition over four months, said Ian
Clark, the steelpan liaison officer
at the Culture Division who coor-
dinates the programme.
"The 2012 response was so over-
whelming, we had to limit the num-
ber of students per semester in 2013
to 25 beginners and 25 intermedi-
ates---so, just 50 students per
venue," said Ian Clark.
From 353 students trained in 2012,
to 274 students in 2013, to 421 last
year, class sizes per venue were lim-
ited to enable better quality teaching.
Continues on Page A26
New British royal baby faces tricky life as the 'spare'
Changing lives through music---Part 1
Unlocking talent, keeping hope alive
Young guitarists at one of the Music Schools in the Community programmes. PHOTO COURTESY CULTURE DIVISION
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