We currently offer lessons on Monday and Tuesday evenings and there is usually a class to suit everyone. We welcome all people of all ages, and especially welcome blind and visually impaired adult beginners. UFO lessons work well if people from the same family or friend group wish to learn together – for example a young person can learn in the same class as their parent, carer or even grandparent.
Please note that if you join UFOs for lessons we expect you to join the band… you will soon be playing gigs and performances all over London as well as helping run workshops. Joining a steelband means joining the teamwork – all able bodies in the band including parents, carers and friends – are expected to be there to pack the van for gigs and to unpack after gig. Its hard work – sometimes relentless – but it is so much fun!
At the moment we are getting ready for Notting Hill Carnival so every free hour is spent practicing our new soca 2018 set. Therefore it may be difficult to join classes until after Carnival – please email to find out when regular classes will start again.
After Carnival, our classes will take place on:
5 .30pm –6.30pm – blind and visually impaired players – beginners welcome
6.30pm – 7.45pm – children/young people/adult beginners (kids leave by 8pm after teabreak)
8pm – 9pm – class continues with intergenerational intermediate/advanced players (therefore intermediate adults can play from 6.30pm right through to 9pm.) Class occasionally runs later, especially during holidays.
6.30 – 7.30 – beginners (beginners can join at any time of year – contact us! Call Fiona on 07775 947 300!)
7.pm – 9pm catch up session for all players (intermediate or advanced players are welcome to join the class from 7pm to give the beginners the chance to play as a whole band.)
Call Fiona on 07775 947 300 if you would like to join.
Cost of classes:
adults £10, under 21s £5. Blind VI players – free.
First lesson is free, but once you join UFOs lessons cost £10 per week for over 21s and £5 per week for up to 21s. For the one fee you are free to attend both Monday and Tuesday if you want to. We of course offer concessions for those on low income. The blind/visually impaired players class is free.
Please note that if you join UFOs, we expect you to “join the band” and want to play gigs (once you have learned some tunes and gained performance confidence!) Therefore your lesson cost is subsidised by our charity fundraising. In other words, you will be joining not just to learn pan, but to become part of our work that aims to bring quality steelpan music to audiences, and involve more people in the arts. So if you want to join but not play gigs you cannot benefit from the funding we constantly work hard to raise, therefore the lesson cost will change to £20 per chass, under 21s £10. (NB/ this does not apply to blind/VI players or any player with disabilities.)
We expect payment by bacs transfer in advance, and for you to commit to lessons half-termly in order to reserve your place in the band. Payment must be made even if classes are missed – i.e. the classes cannot work on a drop in and pay basis. Our lessons continue through school holidays.
Our timetable can change depending on numbers and how busy we are – coming up to big gigs like Carnival we often have additional rehearsals. We send out information via a text messaging system, via our facebook group, via the website and via “Band App.”
If you don’t want to learn steelpan but want to watch the class, we welcome you to join in by playing percussion – percussion really adds to the sound!
Everyone in the panyard during lessons – including helpers friends and family watching the classes – is welcome to join in the UFO teamwork… we welcome help with teabreak, help with packing away the pans, help welcoming new players.
We have a security system in place where everyone in thepanyard – whether player, helper, teacher or audience must wear a UFO ID lanyard.