Musical learning and desistance from crime: the case of a “Good Vibrations” Javanese gamelan project with young offenders

Henley, J. (2014) Musical learning and desistance from crime: the case of a “Good Vibrations” Javanese gamelan project with young offenders. Music Education Research, 17 (1). pp. 103-120. ISSN 1461-3808 (print) 1469-9893 (online)

Abstract

This paper discusses new empirical evidence for a positive relationship between musical learning and desistance from crime. On investigating the learning processes occurring within a Javanese gamelan project in a young offender's institution, parallels between musical learning processes and the development of certain attributes linked to desistance from crime emerged. The desistance paradigm centres on changing a criminal identity through the development of social and personal attributes, which resonate with recent research on the transformative effects of music and how musical identity can be changed positively through active and successful music-making. The research was carried out in a UK Young Offender's Institution involving 19 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 over a period of eight weeks. Participant observation was used as the main research tool. This paper presents two participant stories to illustrate the personal development and the social development that can be gained as a result of the project. These are discussed in the context of successful musical learning and the suggestion is made that musical learning and developing the attributes essential for inspiring desistance from crime arise from shared learning processes.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item