Your personal niche in music will be determined by a number of things, including your speciﬁc preferences in music and lifestyle, your avenues into networks, the networks themselves, and your level of ability/qualiﬁcation.
From a pan player’s perspective, your niche is, in some ways, blessed upon you by nature of the instrument you have chosen. The pan will always be synonymous with certain things (Disney, Jamaica) here in the U.S., and many people have found the pan underneath these popular spotlights. But the pan is an instrument capable of expressing a variety of styles and provides the artist many choices. Your musical voice will sound through your musical style choice, whether it be to stick with calypso, move to a fusion style, pan jazz, Latin, or pop. Styles also depict many other ancillary factors behind the music, like the people that associate with that same music, as well as the venues that house those styles.
Improve your professional network:
- Align yourself with others in the area that share your musical interest.
- Find out about your speciﬁc music ‘scene.’ Where can your style be found in your town?
- Take lessons, for skill building and also networking.
Improve your playing:
- Improve your chordal understanding. Music chords are the framework for pan players and many other instruments as well.
- Think of your instrument mathematically. Pan is especially good for this.
- Practice, and listen, listen, listen to other music.
The Steel Pan Collective