Music Therapy brings gamelon to ECU

The ECU Music Therapy Program hosted the Music Therapy Association of North Carolina spring meeting April 24, at the ECU School of Music. In attendance were professional and student music therapists from across the state and music educators and world music students from Pitt County and ECU.

A five-hour continuing education workshop was conducted by ECU alumnus Dr. Michael Rohrbacher, director of music therapy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. He brought a large gamelan “orchestra” from Bali, and participants learned to play and understand the role of the gamelan in Balinese society, as well as make applications to therapeutic and educational environments.

A gamelan is a musical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Bali or Java, featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, drums and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings. A gamelan is a set of instruments as a distinct entity, built and tuned to stay together.

Dr. Barbara Memory, director of music therapy at ECU, coordinated the meeting and workshop.