Gamelan for Adults

Woman playing instrument at a live performance

Gamelan for Adults

The Gamelan instruments look and sound wonderful and playing them is a unique and special experience.

Gamelan adults performance

About Gamelan for Adults

Run in collaboration with Cheltenham Festivals, we plan to resume regular half-day sessions at Barbican House one Sunday each month between 2pm and 5pm.  New dates for the next academic year will be posted in due course.

New members are welcome to this friendly, inclusive group.  No previous skills or experience are necessary as gamelan playing is very democratic.  Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, your contribution will add an important element to the texture.

To find out more or book a free taster session, contact

What is a gamelan?

Made in Indonesia, a gamelan is an ensemble of gongs, metallophones and drums of various shapes and sizes mounted on beautifully carved and painted wooden frames.  The instruments look and sound wonderful and playing them is a unique and special experience.

The Gloucestershire gamelan belongs to Cheltenham Festivals.  It moved to Barbican House in 2016 having been previously housed in Pittville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham.  It was specially made for this location and the intricate designs are based on neo-classical design.

Why play it?

A gamelan workshop is a great introduction to music-making, whatever your level of musical ability.  The straightforward playing technique makes these instruments instantly accessible.  Everyone can learn to play because no previous knowledge or experience is required. 

Learning to play gamelan enriches many areas of music-making, and the emphasis on playing together as a group reinforces the importance of community over individual values.


Our Groups and Sessions

In addition to the weekly community gamelan group, we offer school workshops and one-off sessions for adults.  Perhaps you'd be interested in booking a session as a fun evening with a group of friends, or as a bespoke team-building event for your business, or even a birthday party treat.  

Our leader, Pete Smith, is one of the leading gamelan players in the UK, working with other groups in Oxford and Bristol. We sometimes perform at special events such as the Cheltenham Festivals.

Book a free taster session with the Community Gamelan group or a bespoke gamelan event with friends or colleagues through