Suitable for : KS 1 + 2
Where : School
When : One term - one year
Group size : 30 max
This unit follows on from ‘Creating a Classroom Orchestra’ but can also be delivered as a stand-alone unit. Gamelan is an orchestra of gongs, chimes and drums from Indonesia – beautiful to look at, and even more beautiful to hear. The instruments and the music are accessible to newcomers, but reward exploration over many years.
In this unit the unforgettable experience of playing authentic Javanese gamelan instruments will be supplemented with follow-up work in school using tuned and untuned classroom percussion. Gamelan is the perfect introduction to music-making in general, and more specifically to playing in a larger group.
Gamelan enables varied groups of people to work closely together, listening to each other and responding collectively. It provides a framework within which the individual contribution to the group is valued, thus encouraging a sense of social cohesion. It creates aesthetically pleasing music very quickly, and participants are soon able to attain a significant level of ensemble skill. In addition to the musical benefits, gamelan also promotes greater awareness and understanding of a diversity of cultures.
‘I thought the gamelan was very beautiful and graceful’
Pupil age 8
‘I’ve never done anything like this before’
Pupil age 7
‘When we were all playing together it felt as if we were all in a band’
Pupil age 9