Gamelan Music/ Drumming

Learn to play the unique instruments of the Gamelan Orchestra from Java and Bali, Indonesia

  • Great for team working, communication and ensemble skills development.
  • Instruments are instantly accessible and create a beautiful sound
  • Calming, relaxing and therapeutic
  • Suitable for all ages and abilities
  • GCSE, Key stage curriculum support, A levels
  • Sensory and music composition sessions
  • One-off tasters, weekly sessions or residencies at your venue
  • Staff training and development

Artbeat provides Gamelan workshops for groups of all ages and abilities. The instruments are instantly accessible with a serene and beautiful sound. The workshops involve using either a full traditional, bronze, Javanese Gamelan orchestra using the Slendro (5 note) tuning or a smaller, portable set of Balinese Gamelan. We also run regular sessions in Nottingham where individuals can come along to take part as well as a performing group.


The communal aspect of Gamelan music means it is instantly accessible to all levels from professional musicians to those with no previous musical experience! The range of instruments also provides an excellent opportunity for developing group compositions in longer sessions or to explore other related curriculum topics such as the work of Minimalist composers or group composition. The range of instruments also provides an excellent opportunity for developing group music compositions, sensory explorations and improvisation.



Sessions can take place at the Gamelan based in Nottingham or the instruments can be transported to your venue for a residency -ideal if you have several or more groups and an option to invite neighboring groups/ schools to book sessions.

A Gamelan is a large tuned percussion orchestra that originates from Java and Bali, Indonesia made up of large hanging Gongs, giant Xylophones, Drums and other unusually shaped and beautifully ornately decorated instruments. It is traditionally played in the courts and palaces of Java and Bali. The players remove their shoes and sit on the floor on cushions to play the instruments as a sign of respect, which is an essential part of Indonesian culture. Gamelan music is often used to accompany dance and shadow puppet plays based on the traditional Hindu folk tales of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Participants will be introduced to the cultural context of the instruments as well as learning to play the instruments and a traditional piece. The look and sound of the instruments are totally unique.


Why not try…

Gamelan workshops can be combined with dance workshops either traditional Indonesian dance or creative movement and the Gamelan could accompany the dance to form part of a performance. Visual arts from Indonesia including shadow puppets (Wayang Kulit), mask making and batik can also be combined to create a cultural focused project.

Gamelan projects are supported by Inspire.