Gamelan schools programme

Our Gamelan Programme continues to provide many opportunities to learn about and play these amazing Javanese percussion instruments.

In 1987 we were privileged to receive a beautiful Javanese percussion orchestra called gamelan. This was a remarkable gift from the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to the people of Great Britain, as a gesture of friendship. 

Founded by composer Alec Roth, the Southbank Centre Gamelan Programme has since reached out to thousands of people and provided many opportunities to learn about and play these amazing instruments. The programme is facilitated by a core group of expert tutors – many of whom have studied in Indonesia – and offers something for everyone, from family and school workshops to classes for individuals. 

Get involved

Southbank Centre’s Gamelan Programme offers something to suit everybody: from family, school and group workshops to regular classes and performances. No previous musical experience is necessary to play the gamelan and enjoy its wonderful sounds.

Gamelan is both a rewarding musical and social activity. Playing the gamelan can inspire self-confidence, improve coordination and listening skills, encourage team-building and be a great opportunity to try something new or develop your playing skills in a relaxed and friendly environment.


Gamelan School and Group Workshops 2018/19

These introductory gamelan workshops are available to groups of up to 20 participants.

Each two-hour session explores traditional Javanese repertoire but can be tailored to your specific needs to include composition and performing with an expert tutor. A range of needs can also be accommodated. These sessions are great for primary and secondary schools (particularly KS3 & KS4), colleges and universities.

Alternatively, why not bring your family for a workshop to celebrate a birthday or special occasion? No previous musical experience is necessary, just a willingness to take off your shoes and have fun

Dates & times

Tuesdays (2pm), Wednesdays (10.30am) and Thursdays (10.30am & 2pm)

Autumn 2018: Tue 18 Sep – Thu 13 Dec 2018
Spring 2019: Tue 15 Jan – Thu 28 Mar 2019
Summer 2019: Tue 7 May – Thu 18 Jul 2019
Workshops can be arranged on other dates and times subject to tutor availability.


£195 per group + £3 transaction fee.

Please note: these workshops are not available to book online. To book, call our group ticket line, which is open Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm.

Tel: 020 7960 4225


Gamelan & Poetry Workshops – Lambeth Primary Offer 2018/2019

Lambeth primary schools are invited to book free gamelan and poetry workshop sessions.

For the first hour, half your class works with one of our expert tutors to sample group music-making on our beautiful gamelan – a percussion orchestra from Java.

Meanwhile, the other half explores The National Poetry Library's collection, working with library staff to enjoy the UK's largest collection of contemporary poetry books and recordings. The groups swap over for the second half of the two-hour session.

Age recommendation

Primary school students, years 3 – 6.

Dates & times

Tuesdays in term time, 10.30am – 12.30pm


These workshops are not available to book online. To book, call Southbank Centre's group booking line, which is open Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm, with your preferred date and class details, and quote 'Lambeth Schools Gamelan Offer'.

Ph: 020 7960 4225

Schools are limited to one workshop booking per term.

book a workshop

Cost: £195 per group + £2.75 transaction fee.
Tel: 020 7960 4225
Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm

*Please note, these workshops are not available to book online.

tell me more

If you want to find out more information about gamelan at Southbank Centre, get in touch.
Tel: 020 7921 0767

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