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Improvised Music Company & The Ark

From Inspiration to Motivation: Making Music for Young Audiences

Musicians at all stages of their career who are interested in work with or for children, are warmly invited to participate in this half day professional development opportunity presented by The Ark and Improvised Music Company.

As we look towards 2021 and beyond, this event aims to give inspiration and support to musicians who already work with children, as well as those who are new to this area of work and would like to start considering how to develop this as a part of their practice. The aim is to show different ways in which music with or for children can be both artistically satisfying for the musicians as well as exciting and engaging for young audiences.

The day will begin with an inspirational presentation from three pairings of Irish and international producers and artists, outlining their process and what they learnt through creating work for children.

We will hear from:

  • Percussionist Adriano Adewale and producer Martel Ollerenshaw who collaborated on Catapluf’s Musical Journey for EFG London Jazz Festival.
  • Drummer Simon Segers, a member of Belgian jazz trio De Beren Gieren, and Producer Cleo Janse will join us to discuss Mile(s)tones - a show commissioned by Big Bang Festival, a music festival for young audiences.
  • Dublin-based musician Mary Barnecutt, together with Aisling O’Gorman from The Ark, will discuss Mary’s participation in the Fun Size Jazz artist development programme from IMC and The Ark and how that led to the development of show String Play.

Learn more about the Guest Speakers HERE.

Following this, the second part of the morning will focus on practical matters concerning Irish-based artists regarding funding, opportunities and planning in work for children.

The final section of the day will be an opportunity to discuss any and all ideas participants may have around creating new work for young audiences. We will split into small groups for an informal brainstorming session where artists and participants are welcome to discuss any early seeds of an idea in a supportive environment.

This half day event is a great opportunity to get up close and personal and learn from artists and producers successfully working in this area, find out what opportunities are available and generate new ideas that you can take forward into 2021.


Section 1: 10am to 11.20 - Inspiration panel event
Section 2: 11.20 to 12.15pm - Practical discussion of funding and opportunities
Lunch: 12.15pm to 1pm
Section 3: 1pm to 2pm - Idea incubation / next steps

As there is a limit to the number of places on a video call, we need you to register to book your place HERE.

IMC will email you a link to a Zoom call prior to the event. Please be advised you will need to install the Zoom app in advance.

Project: Catapluf's Musical Journey

Explore rhythms and sounds of the world with Catapluf, whose imagination takes you to places where music can be found in everything: pans, water, drums, even the body. Catapluf’s Musical Journey includes samba, jazz, klezmer and plenty of audience participation.

Originally commissioned by the EFG London Jazz Festival, Catapluf’s Musical Journey is a new non-verbal work by multi-instrumentalist Adriano Adewale (Brazil/UK), for children aged 5-7.

Project: Mile(s)tones

In MILE(S)TONES, a percussionist, a pianist and a trumpet player guide you into the fascinating world of the legendary American jazz composer and trumpet player Miles Davis.

The show presents the endless, fantastic possibilities of improvised music through the compositions of Miles Davis, with members of the renowned Belgian jazz ensemble De Beren Gieren, Thijs Troch, Simon Segers, and trumpet player Bert Bernaerts as the ideal guides.

Project: String Play

Three friends embark on a musical journey through an ordinary day as they converse, argue, travel, play and interact using only their instruments. String Play is a light-hearted non-verbal performance with musical improvisation at its core.

String Play is performed by Mary Barnecutt, Katherine Barnecutt and Matthew Jacobson. It was originally devised as part of the 'Fun Size Jazz' series, an artist development collaboration between IMC and The Ark in 2018, which encourages jazz musicians to create work for young audiences.

Read an interview with the performers about String Play HERE.

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