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The Gamelan Project:
The ability of a child to synchronize correlates with attentional performance


Outcome: The gamelan project pilot study demonstrates that the ability of a child to synchronize with an external source in a group setting correlates significantly with established measures of attentional performance.

Impact/benefits: This finding suggests that practices that demand high levels of synchrony between individuals may improve the quality of interpersonal interaction. The gamelan project is currently focused on investigating this issue.

Background/explanation: Gamelan is Balinese music featuring a variety of pitched percussion orchestras, which highly emphasizes group synchrony. Thus, adapted gamelan music and instruments are particularly useful not only for measuring group synchrony but also for interventions that attempt to improve it. Pilot study subjects consisted of 85 students from grades 2-6 at the Museum School in San Diego, California. All subjects had previous experience playing gamelan as one of their curriculum classes, with TDLC’s Alexander Khalil, a researcher in this study, as their teacher. Subjects were scored along three different dimensions: (1) Synchrony (how well they synchronizsed with a driving beat in a group setting); (2) Psychometric Tasks (Ericksen Flanker Task); and (3) Swan Questionnaire used to assess attentional issues with children. A significant correlation was found across all three tasks.

Description: The Gamelan Project

Description: Good vs. Poor Synch
 More about the Gamelan Project: http://tdlc.ucsd.edu/gamelan/index.html