Andy Gleadhill takes a detailed look at the Caribbean Steel Pan – Percussion Buddies – 15 Pack. This 15 Player Percussion Buddies pack can be used with any main instrument but is particularly suitable for use in Caribbean Steel pan playing with Jumbies as the main instrument.
Full details of the pack: https://www.drumsforschools.com/product/caribbean-steel-pan-percussion-buddies-15-pack-2/
The Percussion Buddies concept is very simple: at the outset the class is divided up into pairs of ‘Buddies’. The pairs take it in turn to play the main instrument of the lesson, whilst the one not playing the main instrument is the ‘Percussion Buddy’ and plays one of the percussion instruments in an accompanying role. The buddies exchange instruments several times during a lesson so that in each lesson both pupils have time playing both the main instrument and the percussion instrument but the point is that everyone is actively engaged throughout – there’s no ‘waiting for my turn’. The Buddy pairs can be the same for each lesson or pupils can change buddies from lesson to lesson at the discretion of the teacher.
The same principle can be applied to classes of any size and with any number of main instruments. If you have more than one main instrument for every two pupils you’ll need fewer buddy pairs but if main instruments are in really short supply, you might even need some buddy trios or quartets, with two or three percussion buddies per main instrument.