Creating Music, Uniting People, Building Communities

Support Spring 2015 School Programs!

Our school programs are designed to expose students to the steel drum, taught and performed in a unique community setting. This instrument does not require that the students read music, therefore making it quick to learn so students feel successful as performers and musicians in a short amount of time. The lesson and performance experience will build student’s confidence and self-esteem while they learn in a fun, supportive environment that emphasizes community. Starting in spring 2015, Kainga Music will be offering up to ten school program steel bands (each meeting once a week),  especially for students at various underserved schools in North County. These student programs are being offered in addition to our ongoing evening groups which are for all skill levels, and lifelong learners of all ages. Our eventual goal – through scholarship funding – is to have no barriers to enrollment for the school student steel band programs. 
Many of the students who participate in after school steel bands are those who might not have been able to afford the traditional music instrument rental and weekly private lessons necessary to participate in their school wind ensemble, orchestra, or jazz band. The actual cost of participating in one of our steel bands will be roughly half the cost of a traditional instrument rental and weekly lesson.

To donate please click here. Thank you!


Music is a unifying experience that the world shares. It’s what unites us, it’s what makes us live in the moment together. We believe our mission is to share this experience with our community by providing access to the schooling, culture, creation, and performance of this art form. In respect to this, our non-profit organization has adopted the name “Kainga”: a Tongan word that means “extended family.” 

Kainga Music established its non-profit corporation 501(c)(3) in 2014. Its mission and vision as an education platform is inherently tied to the shared human experience, uniting people from all walks of life in the culture, creation, and performance of music, as a part of and resource for the community. Music is uplifting, healing, and gives the opportunity for starting and strengthening the bond between people of different backgrounds, genders, and ages. The featured instrument in the school, the steel pan, is played throughout the country of origin, Trinidad & Tobago, in community centers called “Panyards” that welcome the variety of members in the surrounding neighborhoods to find a common place and common voice. 

Kainga Music’s Founder, Keli Ross-Ma’u’s vision for the school is for it to be modeled more like a Panyard. Keli chose the word “Kainga” from his Tongan heritage, which means “extended family,” to help embody the intention of community-building as the core goal of the school, with the learning and performance of music as an extension and expression of that shared bonding experience between the students and audience members alike.


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