Meet the Music Makers: Tampa Music School’s Steel Pan Band

12187721_835036069927446_2219155154612237800_nWe made friends with Tampa Music School last summer, when owner and music teacher Matthew Maines wanted to put some STEAM education into his summer music classes by inviting local FIRST robotics teams to share their robotics projects with his Star Wars Music Camp students. Since then, we’ve enjoyed having the Tampa Music School Steel Pan Band perform at ROBOTICON in the fall, and later at TEDxYouth@TampaRiverwalk.

Now they’re joining us at Gulf Coast MakerCon, to share the sweet sounds of steel pans, and bringing more music science with them in the form of a Steel Pan Science Challenge.

Here’s the backstory, from Matthew Maines:

“I have a Yoga/Tai Chi Studio moving next door to me. My steel pans and drums create Tampa Music Schoollots of low frequency waves and vibrations that shake the neighboring wall. It’s not realistic to dump thousands of dollars in attempting to soundproof a 70′ x 12′ neighboring wall with a metal rigid roof.

“Want I want to do is come up with a cost effective way to catch the vibrations at the source, mitigating low sounding frequencies from shaking the wall and disturbing the neighbor without muting/deadening the tone of the steel drum. “

The steel pans that the school uses are suspended on aluminum stands. So here’s the challenge:

The solution to this problem:

• Must be cost effective
• The tone of the instrument must be preserved without deadening/muting the sound
• Vibrations must be stopped before hitting the wall

Check out the video for more info:

Science Challenge

Click image for video


Then get (quietly) cracking! You can bring your super amazing idea on how to mitigate the vibrations from the instrument source without disrupting the tone of the steel pan, to Gulf Coast MakerCon and pitch it to Matthew – and maybe we can try it out there – and you could win a FREE Month of Music Lessons with the Maestro.

Have fun, and see you at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2016!  Don’t forget to wear your Hawaiian shirt.

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