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November 2016 - CPD Weekend





On Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November 2016, NCEM hosted a Northern Gamelan Network CPD weekend, bringing together representatives from Music Hubs in Bradford and Hull, the universities of York, Leeds and Durham, and freelance practitioners from across the country. The weekend made use of the University of York's own set of instruments, Gamelan Sekar Petak, which has the distinction of being one of the first Javanese bronze gamelans to be commissioned for use in the UK.

On Saturday 26th November, Northern Gamelan Network partners were treated to a day of gamelan and accessible technology, under the expert guidance of Charles Matthews. Charles is an electronic musician, gamelan player, and workshop facilitator based in London - he performs with the Southbank Gamelan Players and works as a facilitator with Drake Music. His sessions drew together these areas of expertise, as he guided network members through a variety of different apps and resources that can be used to make gamelan more accessible to young people with additional needs. The sessions also focused on ways in which technology can be used to leave a legacy beyond initial, specialist-led gamelan workshops. 

On Sunday 29th, the focus shifted to vocal work, learning traditional Javanese and Indonesian songs with renowned vocalist and workshop leader Jonathan Roberts - also a performer with Southbank Gamelan Players. Jonathan guided the network members through initial pronunciation and vocal production techniques, building up confidence and skills. By the end of the day, the group had learnt a number of different songs (from nursery rhymes through to refined melodies to accompany court dances) and had combined singing and ensemble playing.

CPD participants described the weekend as:
  • "Hugely enjoyable";
  • "Fun, engaging, informative and playful";
  • "Extremely useful";
  • "A very fulfilling experience";
  • "A real eye-opener".
Network members reported that the sessions:
  • "Opened up more versatile possibilities, especially for accessibility"
  • "Gave a really fresh knowledge of music technology"
  • "Provided new ideas and built new confidence"
  • "Gave loads of food for thought - livening up my workshops, making them more accessible and involving lots more people"
Resources and film from the Northern Gamelan Network CPD Weekend will be available in 2017.