Good Vibrations is a registered charity that helps prisoners, secure hospital patients, ex-prisoners and others in the community develop crucial life and work skills, through participating in intensive gamelan courses.
This project builds on previous research investigating positive change through participation in a Good Vibrations Javanese Gamelan project. The aim of the project is to identify the learning processes within the gamelan and investigate aspects of the project that could contribute to the development of attributes associated with desistance from crime.
The project was carried out via participant observation, with follow up interviews six-weeks after the project ended. It was decided to use participant observation so as to conduct a deep investigation of the learning processes in order to understand the transformative effects reported by previous research. Participant observation has not been used to investigate a Good Vibrations project before, and so this methodology provided a different research perspective. The project uncovered the shared learning processes between musical development and social development, identifying links between musical participation and attributes associated with desistance from crime. Furthermore, it provides a strong case for the use of participant observation in research into arts projects within the criminal justice system.
The project was carried out by Dr. Jennie Henley, Institute of Education, University of London.