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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, evenings and during school holidays, these courses normally last for a minimum of four days. Working together as an ensemble to create music from scratch, young musicians get the opportunity to work alongside choreographers, theatre directors or film-makers.

Animate Artists x Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company: ‘As Time Goes By’

In October – December 2023, Animate Artists and Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company collaborated on a new music and dance piece using the theme of time. Around 40 young people worked with music director Sarah Freestone and choreographer Alethia Antonia to devise and perform the piece.

Thirteen young musicians – aged 11-15 – came together with Sarah Freestone, and supported by Trinity Laban music students, to compose the music from scratch. From fragments of melody to finished musical episodes, and taking inspiration from composers Steve Reich and Terry Riley, the young musicians performed, composed and shaped their own ideas in dialogue with the Youth Dance Company.

The project was captured in a short film. Click below to watch this exciting collaboration:

Who can become an Animate Artist?

  • Anyone who plays any instrument, including music technology
  • Priority will be given to more experienced young musicians aged 13 – 18, who are Grade 3 standard upwards (or equivalent)
  • Young people from Lewisham, Lambeth, Greenwich and Southwark who have taken part in past Animate projects are particularly encouraged to take part!

What will you do on a typical Animate Artists project?

  • Work closely with a team of typically 20 – 25 other Animate Artist musicians and other young artists to create a brand new piece of performance art
  • Be supported by an artistic team of professional musicians and other collaborators
  • Take part in a series of creative sessions to shape your ideas and get more comfortable playing together with the other musicians and young artists
  • Be part of a high-profile and public performance at the end of the process

Animate Artists have collaborated with Trinity Laban Youth Dance Company, Emergency Exit Arts and Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre, amongst others, and performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre and Cadogan Hall.

Animate Artists 2022: The Ultimate Storyboard

In February 2022, young musicians worked with undergraduate music and dance students from Trinity Laban in a very special collaboration, as part of the annual CoLab festival of creativity and innovation. Taking inspiration from using ancient star maps to create graphic scores and exploring the stories behind constellations, participants visited the Royal Observatory Greenwich at the start of this 5-day project. Guided by musical director Sarah Freestone, and choreographer Laura Doehler, the group improvised and developed their own performance piece from scratch. They then performed this on the stage of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, as part of the London Music Fund’s 10th Anniversary Gala Concert, in front of a packed and appreciative audience which included the Mayor of London!

Watch a short video of our 2021 project:

Animate Artists: Ideal Palace

in collaboration with Emergency Exit Arts

Past Highlights

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Other Highlights

In 2019, Animate Artists joined forces with dancers from Trinity Laban’s Youth Dance Company to create a spectacular joint performance of new music and dance. The performance was the featured headline act at the Live at Trinity Laban show on Tuesday 26 March and was rapturously well received by a sell-out audience.

In 2018, Animate Artists collaborated with young theatre-makers from Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (GLYPT) on a 6 week project. They devised a new piece from scratch – called Story #1 – which was performed at Tate Exchange, inspired by a John Akomfrah video installation in the gallery, exploring issues of identity.

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Animate Artists Summer 2021

In summer 2021, a group of young musicians came together at Trinity Laban to create and then record their own music. In this latest Animate Artists project, Animate artists collaborated with the pioneering outdoor performance company Emergency Exit Arts to help create some of the soundtrack for ‘Ideal Palace’ – a new interactive audio-theatre experience which then toured to public spaces in Greenwich.

Listen to an excerpt from the soundtrack recorded by Animate Artists for Ideal Palace on Soundcloud:

Listen here

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Animate Artists June 2020

As a result of the pandemic, Animate Artists moved online for the first time in June 2020. Under the guidance of an expert tutor team, led by Sarah Freestone, a group of young musicians worked remotely to collaborate and create a brand new piece of music. They performed and recorded each musical part at home, and submitted this alongside video footage that reflected their experience of making music in this unique way.

The music they created was inspired by the classical composer Joseph de Bologne, the nine sabre parry positions of fencing, Snarky Puppy and Stockhausen’s Helicopter String Quartet.

Read Sarah Freestone’s reflections on the project.

Watch For All The Neighsayers

Animate Artists Present:

For All The Neighsayers