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 or carer.
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! We expect all players to sign our user agreement and to abide by our ethos, code of conduct and class/gig rules.
Our classes take place on:
5 .30pm –6.30pm – blind and visually impaired players – beginners welcome (NB/ due to covid this class is currently on hold. We hope it will resume soon – email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more info.)
6.30pm – 7.45pm – children/young people/adult beginners (kids leave by 8pm after teabreak)
8pm – 9pm/9.15pm – class continues for adult intermediate/advanced players (therefore intermediate adults can play from 6.30pm right through to 9pm/9.30pm.) Class occasionally runs later, especially during holidays or in lead up to Carnival.
6.30 – 7.30 – beginner focus (beginners can join at any time of year – contact us! Call Fiona on 07775 947 300!)
7.pm – 9pm Mixed session for all players (intermediate or advanced players are welcome to join the class from earlier if they like, to give the beginners the chance to play as a whole band, but focus will be on beginners.)
Call Fiona on 07775 947 300 if you would like to join.
Cost of classes:
Children and adults £10 (but if an adults learns with a child, the child’s fee is reduced to £5. Blind VI players free if we have funding, if not £5.
First lesson is free, but once you join UFOs lessons cost £10 per week f. 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 if our funding can support this.
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 class (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 learning to play 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 the panyard – whether player, helper, teacher or audience must wear a UFO ID lanyard.