Balinese Gamelan

A weekend of music-making for all levels


Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July 2023


Saj Collyer, Isis Wolf-Light


Dartington Trust, South Devon


Unless otherwise stated, our Short Courses are for adults 18+ years


Includes all lunches, suppers, field trips, materials and all teaching from supper on the day of your arrival through until the lunchtime before your departure.



All the perks included in your course fee, PLUS breakfast and accommodation from the day your course starts to check-out on the morning of the day the course ends. (More info about accommodation can be found below.)


About this course

In this fun weekend for all levels of experience, participants will play and learn about four popular genres of Balinese gamelan.

A gamelan is an elaborate set of percussion instruments from Indonesia comprising bronze gongs and metallophones which play complex interlocking melodic and rhythmic patterns, usually led by a pair of drums.

Tailored for the specific levels of participants, this course will look at the differences and the differing social context for each of these styles, but it will primarily be a hands-on practical weekend of playing music with others. The wonderful thing about gamelan is that complete beginners can play along with experienced players, making it a truly inclusive workshop weekend. 

The primary focus genres will be Gamelan Gong Kebyar and Gamelan Angklung. For each set of instruments, players will be looking at both a traditional and a newly created piece – a kreasi.  We also hear some live Joged Bumbung (a bamboo instrument) and some live Gamelan Gender Wayang (the gamelan that accompanies the Shadow Puppets) and there will be time to have a go on these instruments as well.

on this course you will

  • Learn the fundamentals of Balinese Gamelan techniques
  • Access more advanced tuition for experienced players
  • Make music with others
  • Join in with comparative discussions around the various ensembles studied

typical schedule for short courses

  • Check-in to the room is between 3-3.45pm on the day of arrival. Check-out is 11am on the day of departure, although if travelling by public transport, luggage can be left at the Welcome Centre until the course has completed.
  • Teaching generally begins at 4pm on the first day and ends at 2pm Fridays or 4pm Sunday (whichever is the last day of the course).
  • The daily timetable can start at 9.30am and end around 9.15pm, with free time available at set times throughout the day.
  • For residential participants breakfast is included, followed by a morning gathering and community work groups on weekdays, which are open to all participants and the college community. Non-residential participants can pay extra if they wish to have breakfast on one or more of the days.
  • Lunch for all participants is between 1-2pm and supper is 6.30-7.30pm (both meals are included in the residential and non-residential course fee).

If you have any questions about your course schedule please contact

what to bring

Earplugs if required.


Our courses are part of the wider Learning programme at Dartington, and you will join a community of students on site studying at Schumacher College and Dartington Arts School as well as other short course participants, volunteers and visitors.

While you are here we invite you to take part in our learning community life by attending morning meetings, taking part in activities such as meal preparation and clearing, and evening social events. This is entirely voluntary, but participants tell us that taking part adds to their experience at Dartington.

short course community lunch


Saj Collyer

Saj Collyer

Saj Collyer completed her degree at Dartington College of Arts in 1992 and it was during her time here on the estate that she first encountered Balinese gamelan. After two years studying Balinese music and Dance on the government of Indonesia scholarship programme, she returned to Dartington and became the gamelan tutor here from 1994 to 2010. Read More

Isis Wolf-Light

Isis Wolf-Light

Isis Wolf-Light first played Balinese gamelan at Dartington College aged 8 as part of a children’s group taught by Saj Collyer. Throughout her youth, Isis played gamelan at Dartington international summer school and eventually joined the London group Lila Cita. Read More


We recommend that if possible, you stay on-site during your course. All our courses are best experienced holistically: through studying, relaxing, eating and staying with other course participants, volunteers, staff and tutors.

When you book your course with accommodation this includes one of our hostel-style single rooms with shared facilities and easy access to your main learning space. They are the perfect base to rest your head, relax and recharge. You can find out more about the rooms here.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included throughout the duration of the course, each made with fresh, locally-sourced produce by our award-winning team.

Accommodation is available at a discounted rate for course attendees, and on a first come, first served basis only. Choose this option by selecting ‘Course Fee Plus Accommodation’ at checkout.

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optional: upgrade to a courtyard room

It is also possible, subject to availability, to upgrade your accommodation to a single or double en-suite bedroom in our beautiful and historic courtyard. An upgrade to a single room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £27.25 per night and a double room with en-suite bathroom is an additional £43.60 per night.

If you would like to upgrade, please first book with residential option included, and then contact our Guest Services team on 01803 847150 or email to check availability. Our Guest Services department is open daily, 8am–8pm.

Should you decide to upgrade to our en-suite accommodation, please be aware that this is 20 min walk, or 3 min drive, to the Old Postern site, where some of our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.


You may like to stay on our beautiful and relaxing campsite, amidst the stunning rolling hills and ancient woodlands of Dartington. Find out more about the campsite here.

Should you decide to stay on the campsite, please be aware that this is 10 min walk, to either Schumacher College or Dartington Hall, where our courses are held. There is car parking available near to all venues on the estate.

Book now

Begin your online booking below. You will receive an e-ticket for this event. You are welcome to email us at with any queries you have. Full Short Course T&Cs can be found here >

If you place a deposit, you will be contacted by us four weeks before the course start date to pay the outstanding balance. You will also be contacted with full details about the course before you arrive.

Please note that in most cases bookings for all our Short Courses close at midday on the Thursday before the course begins. This enables us to give you the best possible course experience and ensures all bookers receive the relevant course materials before they arrive.

Offer: Special rate for Dartington Members

Dartington Members will receive a 10% discount, applied when they log in during the checkout process. For more information about Membership, click here (opens in new tab).

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