Linda – Resonate Glasgow
Linda is a joy to have on our Resonate project in Glasgow. Playing gamelan for the first time, she felt she could finally do something, and be appreciated for her ability, not judged for her disability. Linda progressed to our weekly gamelan course, and has been a committed member of Resonate for over 3 years.
Linda enjoys the social and creative aspects of making music with other people: “I find it very, very therapeutic and unique because it’s Indonesian music … I love the whole group. They’re so good to me … It’s the only group I’ve been to that has treated me as a person, as a human being, and ignored the wheelchair.”
She has gained the confidence to go to other music workshops and concerts bringing her experiences back to the group to inspire others. We hope she will be part of the project for years to come.
You can see Linda talking about her experience at Resonate Glasgow here: Watch a video
I never imagined my mental health would lead me to be incarcerated, but that’s the hand I was dealt. It was there that I first encountered Good Vibrations. I saw the poster and signed up straight away not really knowing what I’d experience. At this point I saw it simply as an excuse to get out of my cell and do something different to break up the monotonous prison life.
Even though I’d been an avid music collector with an ear for world music, I knew nothing of gamelan. The array of different instruments was impressive and I felt spoilt for choice as to which one I’d like to try first. I didn’t play any musical instruments but had dabbled in digital music production so had an understanding of rhythm and structure, which helped.
I had very little experience of working together as a collective of musicians – this was a challenge but also a blessing. One thing prison does is knock your confidence and mine was at an all-time low. The gamelan sessions helped raise this again in a whole new experience from conducting and working as a team to (frighteningly) doing a solo piece. The music was very hypnotic and meditative and sat nicely with my new found faith in Buddhism. Completion of the course gave me a real sense of achievement. Just what you need when you feel like you are losing at life.
Prior to prison I was an arts workshop facilitator for 25 years and I remember thinking in those sessions ‘I’d love to do this job’. Fast forward a handful of years and here I am volunteering with Good Vibrations in the community with the hope to learn more and possibly become a facilitator myself, helping others like it helped me.
Six months after completing a Good Vibrations project, participants experienced: greater levels of engagement and an increased openness to wider learning; improved listening and communication skills; improved social skills and increased social interaction; improved relationships with prison staff; and decreased levels of self-reported anger.
Birmingham City University, 2008