Good Vibrations is a UK registered charity that helps prisoners, patients in secure hospitals, ex-prisoners and others in the community to develop crucial life and work skills through participating in intensive Gamelan (Indonesian bronze percussion) courses. The focus of the project was on assessing gamelan's effectiveness in helping prisoners develop key skills such as team-working, communication and concentration.
Creative activities provide a vital bridge to learning more conventional skills like numeracy and literacy that help inmates cope when they get out of prison and also persuaded many prisoners to engage with further learning and education.
The Good Vibrations workshops were successful in attracting prisoners with low levels of educational achievement, who had never done anything musical before and who had not previously taken part in prison education. Prison education staff judged the workshops to be extremely effective at developing participants' team-working, communication and listening skills. They also judged them to be more effective in building participants' self-confidence and self-esteem than other types of arts project.