Try Gamelan for Schools

“This is now the 4th or 5th year running I’ve brought a group of children to the Gamelan workshop. As always, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learnt an awful lot and were enthused to learn more. Each child, no matter of their ability, achieved success and I look forward to bringing the next group to the workshop.” Huw Lewis – Deputy Headteacher Llancarfan Primary School

A taster workshop on the St David’s Hall gamelan introduces students to the music of Java. Each elaborate instrument based in St David’s Hall is made from bronze, with traditional hand finished woodcarvings. The gamelan set consists of tuned percussion, drums and gongs. The instruments alone convey a sense of the culture and the sounds and music are simply exhilarating – an educational treat.

Gamelan is a fun; stimulating experience with an important role to play in music education at all levels. Our gamelan sessions address many of the concepts in the music curriculum for key stage 1, 2 and 3. Gamelan not only delivers ‘music of other cultures’ effectively, but can also contribute to music teaching in other ways giving the opportunity to use new sounds and respond to music individually and as a class.

St David’s Hall Schools Gamelan workshops have been praised by Viv John, Cardiff School of Education, UWIC. “It was great to be able to play authentic instruments and the students were given a good grounding in the style as well as useful ideas on to implement it in a classroom”.

The students are actively and creatively involved throughout the session which develops their listening skills, flexibility and group music making. This in turn enhances problem solving, communication, and self-confidence. All of which are valuable in personal and academic development. Gamelan provides a chance to educate students in an enjoyable and relaxed environment. No experience is needed to take part in this unique workshop. The group will be lead by an experienced Gamelan musician and is a valuable not only for the students but teachers too.

A two hour session costs £95.00 per session for up to 20 pupils. However, tailored sessions can be offered for groups of up to 30 pupils. Please note, tailored sessions for over 20 pupils may cost more. Please phone for more details.

To book a session with us you can either phone our Music Projects Co-ordinator; Rhian Workman to book over the phone on 02920 878574, or alternativley fill out the booking form at the bottom of this page


Your Questions Answered

    How many staff can I bring?

At least one teacher must accompany students at all times but you can bring along as many as you like and numbers allowing you can all join in too!

NB If you are booking for the Combined Arts Taster package two teachers will need to attend one to accompany each group.

·      How many pupils can I bring?

A gamelan workshop can cater for up to 20 students – we have enough instruments for 20 pupils at one time.

·      Are there set times for the workshops?

Generally morning workshops run from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and extra afternoon workshops run from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm.

·      Are the workshops suitable for groups from a special school?

Yes many special schools bring groups to our workshops. Chairs can be made available where disability prevents sitting on the floor and wheelchairs can also be accommodated please just let us know your needs when you make your booking.

·      What will we play?

During the session groups learn to play a traditional Javanese piece. For keystage 3 groups there is the option to focus on composition – please let us know at the point of booking if you would like to take this up.

·      Who leads the workshop?

Arts Active has a team of specialist gamelan tutors who have expertise and experience in leading workshops for all types of school and community group.

·      Is there anything my pupils and I should know in advance?

The instruments are played on the floor so trousers are more comfortable. Also we ask all participants and onlookers to remove their shoes.

·      Can I take photos?

Yes please do bring your camera. Also you may make an audio or video recording at the end of the workshop to document the group’s final performance. You will not be permitted to record the whole workshop.