About us

Good Vibrations changes lives through communal music-making

We work with some of the most marginalised people in the UK, in prisons, secure hospitals and in the community. Our expert team of facilitators support participants to grow in confidence, deepen their communication and social skills, and develop more positive self-identities. They connect with their creativity and musicality, find community with others, and build a sense of hope for the future.

We are best known for using the Indonesian gamelan:

a magnificent set of bronze gongs, xylophones and drums:

  • It’s new to most people so they all start at the same level
  • No previous musical experience is needed
  • The music is formed of complex layers, which encourages listening and non-verbal communication skills
  • Everyone’s contribution is equally important
  • It’s adaptable for all abilities so anyone can join in
  • It’s melodic, not just rhythmic, providing rich opportunities for musical development

We often include other art-forms, such as shadow-puppetry, dance and adapted technology. This allows us to create multi-sensory experiences that particularly engage young participants, and those with disabilities, sensory integration issues, and autism.

Why our approach works

Since 2003 we have built a reputation for excellence and for being effective working with very marginalised people who can find it hard to engage.

  • Facilitators are sensitive to individual needs, and create safe, non-judgemental space to take creative risks in
  • Participants learn by doing and create their own music together
  • Social dynamics are explored through the safe lens of music, with a focus is on shared responsibility and shared success
  • At the end of a project participants performance in front of an audience which gives a great sense of pride
  • And receive a professionally-produced recording of their music to share with family and friends

Our approach is beautifully-captured in a piece of research, entitled, Good Vibrations Facilitation: Creating Spaces for Dissonance and Harmonyby Dr Jennie Henley from the Royal College of Music.

You can read further independent academic research into our work at the Arts Evidence Library

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© 2019 Good Vibrations. All Rights Reserved. Good Vibrations is a registered charity in England and Wales (number 1126493) and in Scotland (number SC048860). Thank you for visiting.
Photography by Toby Madden/The Independent, Osman Deen/South London Press, Camilla Panufnik, Elspeth Van Der Hole, GDA Design, Gigi Chiying Lam, G. Bland, Alan Bryden, Mark Carlin, Rachel Cherry, Francois Boutemy, Andy Hollingworth, Rebaz Yassin, and Guy Smallman.

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