Pete the Panstick software to be released early next year
Written by Zahra Gordon
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 00:00

Developers of Pete the PanstickAn interactive experience in music education, are preparing to release the software in the first quarter of 2012. The programme was conceptualized by Simeon Sandiford of Sanch Electronix and created by animator Camille Selvon Abrahams.

Compiling five years of research and development through grants and technical support from the Trinidad & Tobago Film Company and the Centre for Development of Enterprise, Pete the Panstick will include six chapters focusing on teaching basic music literacy, pan history and biographies of prominent arrangers in addition to games and quizzes as enhancement material. Theprogramme is bilingual available in both English and Spanish. The educational tools include rhythm and folk songs, recordings of popular Panorama arrangements, illustrations and footage of the making of and evolution of the steel pan.

PETE is being geared towards corporate consumers such as schools, libraries and other academic institutions while BGTT has plans to use the software in a pilot community outreach programme within the areas deemed “hot spots” during the State of Emergency. “My target audience is beginners. I wouldn’t say children or a certain age group. There are people who want self instructional and controlled entertainment. Some people for example, they want to learn to play music but they don’t want lessons so if they have this software and they learn about the history and other aspects of pan it will be better,” said Sandiford.

One PETE’s main functions is to merge technology with culture and art for educational purposes. “Besides pan music, there are basic aspects of history and social studies that can be learned from this application. We are trying to get a level one occupational standard for music production which is basic computer education and music literacy. We are living in a computer age. The idea too is to have a tool that children especially in vacation time would use.”

The software is also meant to aid the shortage of tutors or teachers on this subject.  “The thing about it is if we can have something like that it cuts back on the need for manpower of which there is a shortage already. It will help a lot in terms of delivery of music and music literacy concepts and we can go on by adding more content as time goes by; getting to different levels of difficulty. Instead of just the tenor pan we can go to other instruments and eventually the whole of the orchestra,” said Sandiford.

PETE developers are currently speaking with additional corporate investors about sponsoring events to launch the software. More information on the product can be found at

Zahra Gordon

Trinidad Express Wednesday 14 December 2011 Section 2 page 9