10 February 2020

Schools Workshops

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 including links to the numeracy and literature framework. 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 how 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 valuable not only for the students but teachers too.

A standard two-hour session costs £165.00 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 see ticketing for more information

Packages Offered:

£165 – Try Gamelan – Year 4 – 12 – This session is available for up to 20 pupils and will last up to 2 hours. Pupils will spend 2 hours with the hands-on experience of learning a lancaran style piece of music. They will develop their rhythmic, melodic, structure and listening skills. A full piece will be playable by the end of the session.

£190 – Try Gamelan Boosted – Year 4 – 6 – This session can be offered for up to 30 pupils and will last up to 2 hours. The gamelan will be used for part of the session but will also focus on developing rhythmic, melodic, structure and listening skills to enable to pupils to learn a lancaran style piece. A full piece is usually playable by the end of the session.

£190 – Try Gamelan Boosted – Year 2 & 3 – This Session can be offered for up to 30 pupils and will last up to 2 hours. Pupils will explore music making with the use of the gamelan focusing on developing their rhythmic, melodic, structure and listening skills. By the end of a session pupils will usually have learnt all elements used in a Lancaran style piece of gamelan music such as the structure, melody, rhythm and listening however a full piece is not usually performed at the end.

£165 – Exploring Gamelan – A-Level/University – This is the same as a STANDARD TASTER but can be taken further by learning a more complicated Lancaran with a counter melody and/or looking at a Ladrang style of piece (this is to be discussed in advance of your workshop). At least 1 full piece will be playable by the end of the session.



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!

  • 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 unless you have booked on of our alternative workshops.

  • Are there set times for the workshops?

Yes – 10.00 am to 12.00 pm and 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.

  • 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 groups.

  • 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.

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