Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts



Music Schools in the Community

Music Schools in the Community: Changing Lives Through Music Education.

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‘I have seen a lot of lives change in terms of their discipline, their attitudes and their eagerness to learn. They embraced music as if it was their second religion. The experience of teaching these young people is that I have grown in my understanding of how children learn. Not everyone learns in the same way, and I had to find ways every day to teach them in ways that they understood. I learned a lot from them.’

 —-Peter Aleong (Tutor, Music Schools in the Community Program)                                                       St. James Police Youth Club

This ground breaking initiative to introduce formal musical training to young people of Trinidad and Tobago,  began in 2013 with classes being held at six pan yards. In 2015 the programme ran at the following venues:

  • Casabalanca Steel Orchestra
  • Couva Joylanders Orchestra
  • Golden Hands Steel Orchestra
  • Potential Steel Orchestra
  • Sangre Grande Cordettes
  • St James Police Youth Club
  • Amarjyoth Sabha Mandir
  • St Mary’s Children’s Home
  • Youth Training Center

Training is offered across a variety of instruments with the steel pan being a mandatory instrument. Additional options include: guitar and a variety of brass instruments. This year saw two master artists serving as mentors, each lending their guidance to more than one of the music schools. They shared their knowledge, and gave emotional support to students, parents and tutors. The Artists in Residence included: (Dr.) Roy Cape and Leston Paul.


  • Mr. Errol Ince: Trumpeter extraordinaire; winner Best Jazz trumpet player in Europe, 1968-1972.
  • Mr. Pelham Goddard: Composer, Steel band arranger and producer; Recipient of the Hummingbird Silver Medal
  • Anthony Woodroffe Snr.
  • Joey Rivers
  • Dr. Roy Cape: Distinguished musician skilled in the alto saxophone, clarinet, saxophone and steelpan; bandleader of the renowned Roy Cape All Stars
  • Mr. Leston Paul – Drummer, percussionist and pianist and legendary composer producer, engineer and arranger.

The 6th Semester of the Music Schools in the Community was completed in July 2017. In excess of 250 students participated in the programme which was held in five (5) venues in the North, East, Central and South Trinidad. As in previous semesters the programme focused on music literacy and instrument performance. Students who show the most potential will be given the opportunity to participate in the Royal School of Music Graded Theory exam in November 2017.

For information please contact Mr. Clarke at 225-4023, extension 4003.