Kids Programs

Joseph Peck is a professional musician and California board certified music educator K-12. He has performed with Potential Symphony in Trinidad, West Indies, for the Panorama National Steel Band Competition. His music education programs introduce students to the innovation, development, and cultural significance of the steel drum instrument.  

As a library program facilitator, Joseph engages children and adults alike with captivating stories about the development of the steel drum instrument and engages participants with hands-on drumming.  The 2015 theme is Read To The Rhythm, what a wonderful reason to bring Joseph Peck and his drums to your library!

As a Teaching Artist Faculty Member with The Los Angeles Music Center,  Joseph conducts in-depth music residencies where he and the classroom teacher collaborate to connect music into the classroom curriculum.  If your educational institution is within Los Angeles County, then contact the Music Center’s Education Department to schedule Joseph for a school residency.  Phone 213-250-ARTS or Email: education (at) otherwise for all other programming please contact Joseph directly using the Booking Request Form.  

For additional information on each of the programs offered see the below tabs.


Pan Is My Jumbie (K-12th grade) – Provides a general overview of the steelpan (steel drum) and its origin. Joseph performs selections on the steel drum. Group participation is encouraged and all students will have the opportunity to play a percussion instrument.

A World of Percussion (K-12th grade) – A trip around the world is often just a dream, but in this performance Joseph offers a quick-paced demonstration of many different percussion instruments from around the world.  Equipment needs: VCR, DVD, TV & CD Player.

The Caribbean Drum Circle (K-6th grade) – See “Residencies tab” for project description.


The Carnival Engine Room (1-2 sessions, 4th-12th grade) – Auxiliary percussion instruments (for example, shakers, cow bells, woodblocks, brake drums), in addition to everyday objects, are used to give students a hands-on experience of what it would be like to play in the Engine Room of the Trinidad Steel Bands. (1-2 sessions, 4th-12th grade)

The Caribbean Drum Circle (K-6th grade) – See “Residencies tab” for project description.


The Caribbean Drum Circle (K-6th grade) – Grades K-2:  Students explore music as a language through interactive experiences using percussion instruments (shakers, cowbells, drums, steel drums), call and response, geometric shapes, and movement. Each week students will learn about a historical figure from the Caribbean/steel drum art form and a new vocabulary word. Through playing and mimicking rhythmic patterns, responding to start and stop cues, and playing with proper hand and stick technique students will learn the basic rhythms of a steelband engine room.  This Caribbean musical journey will give students invaluable life skills for relating and help them gain a greater sense of musicality with confidence. The final class will give students an opportunity to perform a mini-concert for their peers, teachers, and parents.

Grades 3-6: Using steel drums, tamboo-bamboo, and other various percussion instruments students will form a Caribbean drum circle band in which they learn afro-caribbean rhythms, participate in call and response activities, and create and perform their own original rhythmical music compositions.  Students will listen to a different pre-recorded musical example of Caribbean music each week.  In addition, each week they will learn about a distinguished historical figure who has contributed to the development of the steel drum instrument and/or Caribbean music art form. The enrichment program will conclude with students giving a concert performance demonstrating their ability to perform with proper hand and stick technique, collectively and individually with rhythmic and melodic accuracy, and to play in sync with the beat of the music.  This rich musical experience will transform students, giving them a greater sense of confidence, focus, and the ability to team play with one another.

Carnival in Trinidad: Calypso Music and the Steel Drum (10 sessions + 1 performance, 9th-12th grade band students) – A QLE (Quality Learning Experience) that stimulates student learning through lectures, group discussions, library research, information organizers, and artist and student performances.  (10 sessions + 1 performance, 9th-12th grade band students)

Panyard Invasion.  (5-10 sessions, 5th-12th grade) – Hands-on workshop designed for a small group of instrumentalists/percussionists in the school’s band. The panyards of Trinidad are filled with excitement and energetic pan women and men preparing a musical for carnival.  In these workshops students will learn a piece of music in the spirit of the Caribbean.  A fast-paced learning experience that will allow students to tap into their creative side by adding their own finishing touches to the composition. (5-10 sessions, 5th-12th grade)

Trinidadian Fete (20 sessions + 1 performance, 8th-12th grade. Can be designed as a semester or year-long project.) – The residency includes an evening concert performance by the band/orchestra and the guest artist.  Each day will be divided into several segments. Areas of interest include cultural and historical overview of the steel drum and Caribbean music, master class with the percussion section, full band/orchestra rehearsals, and individual sectionals with each group of instruments.  This residency offers the opportunity for the students to perform an original composition by the artist that reflects the history of the steel drum in three movements.  This residency is designed for established steel bands, concert/symphonic bands, and orchestras.  (20 sessions + 1 performance, 8th-12th grade. Can be designed as a semester or year-long project.)

Additional Programs

Comparing Cultures Through Rhythms (1 session – 3rd-8th grade) – Description coming soon…Contact Joseph for additional information. 
Sound Healing via steelpans and guided movement (K-12 Life Skills) – Description coming soon…Contact Joseph for additional information. 
So You Want To Be In The Entertainment Industry? (3 sessions – high school/college) – A one hour high school program for students interested in going into the entertainment industry for a career, during this hour I discuss my experiences, I offer handouts with pertinent information regarding the industry and take questions.
Writing for the Steel Drums (high school/college – 3 – 50 minute session) – This lecture demonstration is for high school or college level composition and/or music theory classes and is presented in 50 minute sessions.  Session one includes a brief overview of the steel pan instrument, it’s cultural history, scientific principles relating to the construction of the instrument and the presentation of the instruments themselves and their musical note patterns and ranges.  Session two discusses orchestration and the various roles of each of the 10 instruments in the steel drum family, including rhythmic patterns and harmonic structures often associated with steel drum orchestration.  Session two also incorporates hands on writing exercises and listening to various musical examples from steel drum orchestras to solo steel pan performances.  Session three goes more in-depth into arranging, as well as, exploring the use of pan into the 21st century.  Group performance activities take place in session three where workshop participants have the opportunity to perform themselves or have others performed some of their writings.   Program includes a 13 page handout with written musical examples and additional resource materials.  Pre-Planning with class teacher and Joseph John Peck is required for this workshop.  Additional fees may apply if additional musicians are needed for session three of the workshop.

Music workshops, residencies, and performances designed for students of all ages. In addition to serving K-12 educational institutions, Joseph is a performing artist with the Los Angeles Public Library.
Private music instruction at Joseph’s home studio in Topanga, CA or in the convenience of your own home. Currently accepting beginning and intermediate drums, percussion, steelpan and music theory students.
An educational EPK (electronic press kit). Includes biography, resume, sample audio and video clips, photos, student worksheets, and letters of recommendation.
An educational portal for kids and adults. Learn more about the history of the steelpan instrument, discover instruments from around the world, music vocabulary, and much more. Coming soon…this section is in development.

Joseph Peck holds a valid State of California Teaching Credential in Music Education K-12.

Additional Links:
Joseph Peck’s Teaching Artist Faculty Page at The Music Center

Music Center Contact Page