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Ms. W. from Dorchester MA is requesting Musical Instruments through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Playing Steel Pans During a Pandemic!

Help me give my students more opportunities to play musical instruments, safely, and LIVE, together!

  • $1,292 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

The students in my school are multicultural, multi-lingual, and are multi-instrumentalists. Most students are learning English as a second (and sometimes third) language. For those students, Vietnamese is the first language of the majority, but we also have large numbers of students who speak Spanish, Haitian Kreyol, and Cape Verdean Kriolu, among other languages. In this diverse community, music is a unifying language we are ALL learning to speak together, as we learn to communicate more effectively and complement our English Language Arts curriculum. Most music classes are 24-26 students, and we sing, we dance, and we play instruments (especially drums, xylophones, ukuleles, guitars, keyboards, and recorders and other woodwinds).

My Project

Although, during this time, my students and I have found many ways to keep making music together, no amount of remote music can replace in-person, collective music-making. We sing on Zoom and Google Hangouts, we have explored many new websites and apps to make computer-based music together, and they text and email me videos of the live music they are making in their homes. However, my students have not stopped asking when we will be able to play together again.

With fancy steel pans -- played with individually-owned dowels-- my students will be able to return to playing musical instruments -- safely, LIVE, and together, with percussion instruments that are culturally relevant to our school!

Many students and their families have asked me how we can continue making music together, when our usual school-based music-making can happen again. The steel pans I am asking for will allow us 1) to socially distance while we play and 2) keep them clean without hurting the instruments, both of which we will need to do as we play together now and for the foreseeable future, whether outside or inside. Because steel pans are played with mallets, each student can make and keep their own pair! The pans will also instigate our cultural conversations about the islands of the Caribbean, an ancestral site of many of the families in my school community.

There is no substitute for live music-making, and I look forward to continuing to navigate with my students our need to be safe with our need to connect through the language of music. I look forward to increasing our opportunities to learn about melodic percussion in cultural context through the addition of Fancy Pans to our musical classroom.

Ms. W.
Grades 3-5
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 600 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Key Of C Mini Pan - 12 Notes • Woodwind and Brasswind $210.00 3 $630.00
Chromatic Double Set • Woodwind and Brasswind $375.00 1 $375.00
60448-1111 - Creativity Street Wooden Dowel Rod Assortment, Pkg of 111 • Blick Art Materials $37.59 1 $37.59

Materials cost


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Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


1 Donor


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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