Year 5 plays the Gamelan!
Year 5 went to Sevenoaks School to play the massive Gamelan in small groups over the last few weeks. They did this to learn more about percussion instruments and how and why they are performed.
The Gamelan is a group of instruments that were created in Indonesia. It is considered holy to the people of Indonesia because they believe it is a connection between them and their holy place. Most of the instruments are made of shiny brass and hard wood but the drums also included skin and string. When made, the details were carved out of the wood very intricately which shows how much they value their gods. The big gong though was made differently because it would take too much time to be made like the other gongs.
To get to Sevenoaks School, we had to travel through town on a short minibus trip. When we got there, we were led into a small room/building that was decorated with beautifully detailed pictures. The first thing we saw were the tremendous gongs which were hanging from strong wooden stands. As the low metallic sound of the great gong vibrated through the air, everyone was awe-struck. Lying beside them were all the other spellbinding instruments of the Gamelan. Some of the students from the school helped us to get used to the instruments.
After that, Mrs Hendry – the teacher advising us – guided us to the drama room where we learned traditional Indonesian dancing. The dancing told a story about a princess who gets kidnapped in the woods and by her loyal servants. The bad guys were slouched and crooked whereas the good guys were tall and elegant. Everyone enjoyed the dancing, even the people who don’t dance often.
Finally, we got onto the minibus and arrived back at school just in time for the end of the day. Overall, everybody thought the day was amazing – they loved the facts that they learned.
By Alex, Ellen and Laurel.