Gamelan CPD session review

On 31st January, MusicNet East was delighted to offer a day’s continued professional development on Gamelan at Stevenage Music Centre, delivered by Simon Steptoe, from Northampton Music Education Hub.

Participants included instrumental tutors interested to widen their practice, special educational needs music tutors, primary classroom music specialists looking for transferrable ideas, a community musician, and some with dual roles including arts promotion. Participants were also interested to explore the potential of Gamelan to develop their work as professional musicians through developing sampling and composition ideas.

Simon introduced how to teach a traditional piece of Giro Indra to primary school-aged pupils using minimum specialist terminology. He then balanced this by encouraging us to experiment to develop our own ideas with improvisation as the workshop progressed.

There were opportunities to work on each instrument in pairs and in a wider group. We learnt damping technique and how to play interlocking parts in pairs and across the group, and about the different tuning systems of the two sets of instruments arranged at right angles. We started with Slendro, the pentatonic scale, before progressing to the 7-note Pelog.

Resources from the session can be downloaded here:

Notes from the session

Complete Giro Indra

Giro Indro drum idea

Kotek notation

Udan Mas notation

Slendro and Pelog scales


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