April Scholar of the Month
Nathaniel from Ealing Music Service is our April Scholar of the Month.
Nathaniel, who began his scholarship in 2015 is a highly creative individual who plays the steel pans – a pannist! However, he can also play the recorder and ukulele as well as a variety of percussion instruments demonstrating his dexterity in his music. This flexibility enables Nathaniel to both read notation and explore different chord progressions by ear – a fantastic skill to have. Nathaniel is described as a ‘focussed and hardworking’ student who has had a natural talent for music from a young age. Keep your ears open for Nathaniel at Notting Hill Carnival where he performed in August last year!
There was a steel pan club running at school, when I was around 9 years old. It sounded interesting, so I decided to try it out. I love the sounds of the tunes the pans make. The pans are very unique, in that not many children learn to play them. It’s usually violin, piano or guitar. Steel pan makers tune the different types of pan by knocking the insides of them. I play different types of pan, including tenor bass, bass pan and double second pans. I would also love to learn different percussion instruments.
Have you been able to play in some fun places, or get involved in any great projects or groups?
I played with the UFO steel band at Clapham Park and Notting Hill carnival which were amazing!
I see that you play a big mix of styles from reggae, latin, pop… what style of music do you like the best and why?
The music I play is based on soca music, which comes from Caribbean islands, like Grenada and Trinidad. I love the soca style of music as it’s party music! It is regularly played at family events and is so much fun.
If you could play with someone famous who would it be? Or what musician do you look up to?
It would be Ed Sheeran, as he’s very talented, plays guitar and I would be a good accompaniment on the pans!
Has the Mayor’s Music Fund enabled you to have new opportunities?
Yes as I have been able to take part in different major public events that make people more aware of steel pans and maybe want to try to play themselves.
What advice would you give scholars who have just started their scholarship?
I would say to enjoy the opportunities it brings. Always have fun and a positive attitude.