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  From the news desk of P.H.I. News

First School to Purchase the Percussive Harmonic Instrument (P.H.I.) - St. Xavier’s Private School

St. Joseph, Trinidad & Tobago - Panadigm Innovations Ltd (PIL), makers of the Percussive Harmonic Instrument (P.H.I.) and G-pan  announced the handing over of two P.H.I.s to St Xavier’s Private School, St. Joseph.

The P.H.I. is the very first “electronic pan” ever created and patented. It is what is known in the music world as a MIDI controller; however, it has a physical form inspired by the ingenuity of the traditional steelpan. MIDI controllers allow musicians to utilize equipment on a MIDI digital network to create, perform and manipulate music. Through MIDI, the P.H.I. provides the panist with access to a limitless range of instrument tones, including steelpan, piano, sitar as well as a range of percussion tones including a “trini percussion” tone set specially designed by PIL for the PHI. The panist plays these tones on a full three octaves of notes laid out on the familiar cycle of the 4ths and 5ths, commonly used on the tenor steelpan.  Note shapes, locations and sizes are ergonomically designed and notes can be transposed anywhere in the musical range allowing the musician to easily switch from a tenor steelpan to a double second, cello, guitar or bass. All of this takes place on a single bowl or “drum” making the P.H.I. a highly portable instrument when compared to the traditional steelpan.

Representative of Panadigm Innovations Ltd hands over P.H.I.s to St. Xavier's Private School
Representative of Panadigm Innovations Ltd. hand over P.H.I.s to St. Xavier’s Private School

On the 22nd March, 2010 St. Xavier’s Private school became the first school in Trinidad and Tobago to purchase the world’s newest instrument the P.H.I., from Panadigm Innovations Ltd.  The company introduced the students to the instruments at a workshop facilitated by Earle Philip, one of the instrument’s inventors, on October 14th 2009. As the steelpan is a part of their music curriculum at St Xavier’s, students were able to easily transfer their knowledge of steelpan performance to the PHI. The strong music curriculum at the school has also resulted in many of its alumni playing for junior or large steelbands throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

Principal Sister Annetta Alexander looks on as a student plays the instrument for the first time
Principal Sister Annetta Alexander looks on as a student plays the instrument for the first time

Based on the overwhelming response and enthusiasm shown by the students, the principal, Sister Annetta Alexander, placed her order for two P.H.I.s.

PIL must commend St. Xavier’s Private School for being a true leader in education, as demonstrated by the principal’s efforts at developing the mechanisms and infrastructure to consistently produce well rounded students. PIL is thankful to St. Xavier’s for taking the lead role in adopting this new paradigm in steelpan, one that is completely in line with the modern digital age, for its music programme. PIL is certain that many schools will follow their lead and provide their students with tools such as the P.H.I. to enhance learning. More information on the P.H.I. can be obtained at PIL’s website at, from Facebook by searching P.H.I. – Percussive Harmonic Instrument.

From the news desk of P.H.I. News.


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