Can’t seem to catch a break this year? Looking for some kind of outlet to release all the tension? Need a reason to dance without worrying that you look ridiculous? All of these problems and more can be solved with two simple words, steel band.
That’s right, one of my go-to stress relief methods is rocking out on some dented oil drums. The University of Mount Union’s Director of Bands, Jeff Neitzke, leads the small group on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. Members of the band come from all different parts of campus, including those who are not traditionally in the music program. The goal of the group is to provide a place for students to come and rock out without the intense stress of perfectly playing every note.
You might be thinking, “But I’ve never been in a band before! How am I going to learn how to play a new instrument?” Playing steel pans is made easy with small labels across the pan that dictate which note is which, something that lifts a lot of the stress that accompanies learning a new instrument. On top of that, steel pan music is some of the grooviest and most fun-filled music you can listen to. Performers in steel bands are often seen dancing on stage and just letting the music flow through them. It is very freeing to go to rehearsal each week and just have fun in a group of my friends while we are playing music together.
If you are not totally convinced of the healing properties of steel band, even just listening to music is an excellent way to relieve stress. And if you do decide to join the group, just remember that you will still probably sound better than Michael Scott after his Jamaica trip.