How did the African diaspora transform slavery, colonization, steel, and oil into one of the Caribbean’s most vibrant and recognizable musical traditions? Explore the history and culture of Steelpan music by learning from local experts in Trinidad. ?
Explore the history and culture of Steelpan music by learning from local experts in Trinidad. The steelpan (sometimes called “steel drum”), perhaps more than any other instrument, symbolizes the cultural, political, and economic shockwaves unleashed by European colonization of the Caribbean. Fashioned out of recycled 55-gallon oil barrels, the steelpan reflects both the cultural genius of the African diaspora in the Americas, and the exploitative orientation of our global capitalist system. This brutal alchemy of slavery, colonization, steel, and oil spawned one of the Caribbean’s most vibrant and recognizable musical traditions.
This is a hybrid course that includes three weeks in Trinidad with two weeks of online course work. In Trinidad, students will be based at the Exodus Steel Orchestra Panyard in the Tuna Puna area of Port of Spain. Students should also expect a significant amount of travel throughout the island. Daily schedules will include steelband rehearsals led by local steelpan experts, discussions and lectures (all in English) led by local practitioners of the Carnival Arts (Mas, Calypso, Moko Jumbie), and field visits that highlight the cultural, political, and environmental diversity of Trinidad and Tobago. Click here to learn more about the Trinidad program!
Highlights/ Good to Know
- Learn directly from local steelpan experts
- Opportunities to immerse in Caribbean culture
- Live in dormitory campus of University of the West Indies
- Summer program for 4-6 academic credits (depending on your institution)
Music Performance, Ethnomusicology, Anthropology, Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Globalization, African & African American Studies, Nationalism, Gender Equality, Transmigration and Diaspora Studies, Education Systems, National Identity and Community Building, History of Colonization in the Caribbean, Tourism and its Impacts on Local Communities, Youth Development.
The cost of this program is $4,300 for member institutions and $4,500 for nonmember institutions. See the HECUA website
for cost break-down.
Group excursions, lodging, meals, local transportation, and administrative costs.
This Program is open to
Undergraduate students enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions who have completed their first year of college.
Scholarships are Available
HECUA maintains a list of scholarship on the website. Visit the HECUA website
to see a listing.
Application Process Involves
- Online Application
- Letters of Reference