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Animate Orchestra offers young musicians in school years 5 to 13 opportunities to play together and create their own music in a ‘Young Person’s Orchestra for the 21st Century’.

Bringing together young people from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and musical interests, Animate courses are fun, sociable and musically adventurous. With specialist tutors and world-class musicians as mentors, projects take place in school holidays or weekends – and range from introductory 1 – 3 day local courses to more intensive projects and collaborations with other art-forms.

Explore the links above to find out more about past and future projects, and online resources.

Latest Projects

Animate Lewisham – 28-29 May 2024, The Fellowship Inn, open to young people aged 9-14. Find out more

Animate Artists – Click below to watch a beautiful film of the music and dance from our Autumn 2023 collaboration with Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company, ‘As Time Goes By’. Find out more

What is Animate Orchestra?

Find out more about what it's like to take part

Image of a young musician playing the clarinet, whilst wearing red face paint of a triangle around his eye

Animate Local

Taking place during school holidays, Animate Orchestra local courses are usually of 1 to 3 days duration and are open to all, regardless of ability or musical experience. Led by specialist tutors and world-class musicians, they introduce a range of creative skills (such as composition and improvisation) and musical skills (such as listening to and playing with others). At the end of each course the ensemble shares the music made in an informal performance to friends and family.

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Animate Artists

Animate Artists courses bring together experienced young musicians in exciting collaborations with other artists and art forms, taking place on a project-by-project basis at weekends and during school holidays. These courses normally last for a minimum of 4 days.

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History of Animate Orchestra

Animate Orchestra began in 2011 and since then has grown and developed. To read more about Animate, please click below:

Animate - Past, Present and Future

A young musician playing the harp

What Animate Parents Say:

“She has now taken part in quite a number of different music projects over the last 5 years and Animate is definitely her favourite. It’s not only the creativity musically, but also artistically, that is always inspirational for her. She comes home with her head full of ideas. The quality and complexity of the work the children create is always amazing”

Self-Isolate | Create | Animate

In June 2020, Animate Orchestra moved online to encourage young musicians across the country to explore their creativity and make music together from their own homes.

To keep creativity flowing during lockdown, we set up a video series of creative musical challenges for you to respond to.

If you enjoy learning online, this series continues to be beneficial to your musical development.

Learn more about the project

“Here we can see a Young Person’s Orchestra not just for the 21st Century but more particularly for the 2020s, responding to new challenges and exploring new opportunities. Animate Orchestra is an example of a flexible, hybrid, high-quality, creative, socially informed, and youth-led approach to re-imagining the orchestra as a vibrant collective.”

Read Agrigento Music’s interview with project leader Sarah Freestone about her experience working on Animate Online in 2020:

Find out more

Contact us:

For more information, please see below:

General enquiries:  | 020 8305 9361

Mailing List: Email with your name, the name and date of birth of your child and the instrument(s) that they play.