The Perse School

Pupils take part in gamelan workshop

On a wintry Tuesday morning 24 members of Year 10 and Year 11 made the annual pilgrimage to the University Faculty of Music to try their hand at playing the Indonesian gamelan orchestra.

The pupils learnt the ropes of this percussion-based ensemble under the experienced guidance of Lindsay Willis, the mother of a Perse pupil, who has over 30 years’ experience playing the instruments. The group found out about the instruments’ sacred qualities (one is not allowed to step over them, and shoes must be taken off at the door) before learning how a simple melody can be decorated and elaborated upon by all the instruments, from the tiniest saron peking metallophone to the largest gong.

As the pupils prepare for their Music GCSE, this was a brilliant chance to get to grips with one of the more unfamiliar styles of music covered in the course.

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