Acutonics Institute of Integrative Medicine

Classes Teaching This Course

Acutonics Elective: For the Love of Gongs, 3 DAY LIVE in BC

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 13, 2024 - Thursday, August 15, 2024 | 9:30am - 5:00pm
Location: In-person LIVE at the Kootenay Sound Healing Centre in BC
Course: Acutonics® Elective: For the Love of Gongs

Acutonics® Elective: For the Love of Gongs - Online and Option for In-Person Live

Date & Time: Saturday, November 16, 2024 - Sunday, November 17, 2024 | 9:30am - 5:00pm
Location: ONLINE via Zoom and option for In-person LIVE
Course: Acutonics® Elective: For the Love of Gongs

For additional class dates, check our class finder.

Acutonics® Elective: For the Love of Gongs

For the Love of Gongs is a two-day class designed to inspire new and experienced players to expand their practice, confidence and skill set. We will begin by discussing the gong and gong culture throughout history. We will explore the physics of sound and what happens when we strike a gong. Techniques are taught that expand our perceptions on how we hold a mallet, and how we approach striking a gong. We will learn how our choice of mallet affects the quality of tone expressed. Most importantly, learners will study how to play the gong therapeutically, aesthetically. Learning these techniques will build confidence while encouraging play and exploration. This class will help to take our relationship with the gong to another dimension. 

 For the best experience for this class, having a gong and a microphone is essential. However, this class is open to anyone interested in gongs, with or without one. We will have both live and online students, so there will be opportunities to watch, listen, play and perform. 

Recommended mallet options include: a soft mallet (my favourite: Dragonfly Fuzz Bucket), heavy soft mallet (Paiste Mallets, M4, M5, M6), harder soft mallet (Dragonfly Baby Bucket), Friction mallet (E-wand, B-Love), Marimba mallets (Yarn head on wood handle: Mike Balter 85B or Paiste M10 or M11). Any Barb Bernard Custom Mallets are great.

Course Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
Choose the right gong
Play a gong.
Hold a mallet and strike a gong.
Demonstrate confidence and expanded skills.
Use the gong therapeutically.
Distinguish between sound healing and sound harming
Demonstrate aesthetic sensibility.


Day One
9:00 am – 9:15 am

Opening and Demo by Theresa Lee Morris

9:15 am – 9:30 am
Intro class introductions

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Introduction to the Idiophone, the Gong, and the Tam Tam
Gong culture throughout history
How gongs are made and the materials used
Different types of Gongs tht are available around the world
How to care for and clean gongs

10:40 am – 11:30 am
Mallets and the importance of having several mallets to choose from.
Choosing a mallet for each gong.
How to hold a mallet
Physics of a mallet
How to strike a gong

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Tone stroke
Several exercises are introduced.

Breakout and practicum with the Tone stroke

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Lunch Break

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm
Drone Stroke
Several exercises are introduced
Breakout and practicum with the Drone stroke
Connecting stroke
Several exercises are introduced

Breakout and practicum with the connecting stroke

2:00 pm – 2:50 pm
What happens when we strike a gong?
Physics of the sound envelope created by the gong
Modes of a tuning fork and of a circular membrane are looked at to get a visual idea of the overtones in a natural harmonic series
How to use mallets to bring out the fundamental tone of the gong or the various overtones
How mallet choice affects which tones get amplified

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Gong as a dimensional instrument
Looking at various perspectives that each offer nuanced levels of dimensional playing of the gong; volume, tempo, and rhythm for instance

Breakout and practicum exercises with varying volume, tempo and rhythm

Day Two
9:00 am – 9:15 am

Demonstration by Theresa Lee Morris

9:15 am – 10:20 am
Friction Mallets
Types of friction mallets
How to use them
Short strokes, long strokes and continuous play
Several exercises are introduced

Breakout and practicum with the friction mallets

10:30 am – 11:15 am
Muting, dampening
The power of silence
The Bubble
Trance drumming, using a gong as a drum
Several exercises are introduced

Breakout and practicum with new techniques.

A glove (or sock) is needed for the muting exercises

11:30 am – 12:00 pm
The Crescendo and when to use it.
How to create a crescendo in a therapeutic way.
Aesthetic sensibility

1:00 pm – 1:50 pm
Creating a journey and soundscape
Using repetition, and repeating sequences as bridges
Beginning, middle and end

2:00 pm – 2:50 pm
Group discussions
Creating a journey together, beginning, middle and end.
Weaving it all together

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Breakout and practicum

Presentations by students