Steelpan Studies

The steelpan studies program at NIU is one of the most renowned and respected in the world. NIU offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music with a steelpan emphasis, and the program has attracted students from the U.S. and across the globe.

The program was created by G. Allan O’Connor, and has continued its development under the direction of Liam Teague: Presidential Research, Scholarship and Artistry Professor, Professor of Music and Head of Steelband Studies.

Steelpan majors receive one-on-one instruction from Teague, and also have the opportunity to learn the basic principles of steelpan building and tuning from Yuko Asada: music instrument technician and a graduate of the NIU steelpan program.

Additionally, majors are required to participate in the steelpan studio and perform in the celebrated NIU Steelband. Each academic year, the NIU Steelband performs at a number of on and off campus concerts in a variety of settings.

Collaboration among NIU studios allows our students to explore their musical horizons by learning new genres, instruments and history. A great example of studio collaboration occurs within the Jazz Studies and Steelpan Studios. Like any other student with a primary jazz instrument focus, i.e. saxophone, piano, trombone, etc., undergraduate and graduate students whose primary instrument is the steelpan can also declare the jazz concentration for their music performance degree (B.M. or M.M.). Students will take primary lessons with Professor Liam Teague, participate in the NIU Steelband and Steelpan Studio, as well as participating in jazz combos and other jazz ensembles.

Contact us to schedule a campus visit and lesson. We look forward to sharing more about our program with you.

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