London has been slowly opening up, but digital experiences are still as popular as ever. That's especially true for online arts classes which are having a renaissance right now.
We’re still stuck at home so much more often than we’d like to be – starved of things to do now that we’ve watched and rewatched every television show imaginable, done all the gardening and renovated all that we can in the house. There has to be another, more relaxing way to switch off and pass the time.
For us, that’s taking part in creative classes online. Being able to draw, dance or write away the day is so rewarding. But we usually need the help of a workshop to get us motivated and provide some direction. That’s why we turn to the classes provided by City cultural institutions or from the artists themselves.
They can help us move our bodies, flex our creative muscles and escape this crazy world we all live in for a few short hours. Read on to find which classes best suit your own skills and interests. We’d be very surprised if you can’t find one that’s perfect for you.
Nonclassical is a London-based music promoter, record label and events producer presenting the best new classical, experimental and electronic music. Crossing genre and defying convention, these guys develop, produce and promote innovative music – supporting emerging artists and bringing new music to new audiences. And, because they can’t hold their in-person classes and performances, they are going online.
Class topics include extended violin techniques, turntablism, DIY synth-building and contemporary composition, these workshops share a host of eclectic practices from the front lines of the contemporary music scene. Some of these classes are for more experienced musicians while others are for total novices.
Check out their online events portal for all the latest editions but be sure to check out Mira Calix as she hosts an introduction to composing for electronics and classical instrumentation in a pair of online workshops, hosted via Zoom. In collaboration with the City of London, Nonclassical will also be presenting 66 Days – a digital multimedia project marking 400 years since the Mayflower sailed to America.
Nonclassical’s Associate Composers are working with collaborators to present a multimedia piece exploring themes of journeys, migration and cultural identities over the course of 66 days – the same length of time that the Mayflower was at sea. The resulting four digital works will be premiered online and on our YouTube channel on Wednesday 16 September, marking the day the Mayflower arrived in America. There’s so much going on over at the nonclassical website.
Never underestimate the power of colouring-in as an adult. It has the ability to relax the fear centre of your brain and even induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. This generates mindfulness and quietness, which allows your mind to get some rest after a long day working from home.
And we can think of no better colouring-in exercise than that of Camille Walala – the famous designer who transforms the bleakest buildings into colourful works of art. She has designed countless installations for London Design Festival as well as brightening up the City by painting all kinds public spaces which everyone can enjoy.
Embrace your inner artist by printing off some of Walala’s colouring-in pages directly from her website. Get creative at home and relax that stressed out brain of yours.
This is where you will find the most diverse range of creative online courses to take part in. Dance, sing, act, draw, paint or write along with others, no matter what your experience and skill level may be.
Dancers (or those of us who just miss going out dancing) can take part in some basic ballet, contemporary dance, tango or salsa classes. They’ve even got TikTok classes. You’ll learn moves to popular routines while learning a few TikTok tips, so you get all the love online.
We’re also big fans of their creative classes which are made specifically for helping you at work or your day-to-day life. Become a better public speaker, learn how to influence those around you and even develop ways of managing nerves. They’ve got so much covered over at City Academy – both online and in person.
Sadler’s Wells has expanded ‘Take Part’, its series of projects available to the wider community, by presenting a series of online workshops and activities for audiences to dance along to in their own homes. First off, their Company of Elders workshop series is specially created for over 60s who may be staying at home due to social distancing.
The workshops will be available via the Sadler’s Wells YouTube channel, so it’s super easy to get involved. Coordinated by Sadler’s Wells’ Learning & Engagement team, they will be hosted by artists in the UK and across the world, including Clara Andermatt, B.Dance, Lucia Caruso, Seeta Patel, Simona Scotto, Alesandra Seutin and New Adventures Resident Artist Paul Smethurst. Be sure to let your older relatives know about it!
They’ve also got a set of workshops which have been specially created for families with younger children who are unable to attend nursery or school. These workshops are led by Cherie Coleman, who runs Family Friday sessions at Sadler’s Wells, and feature five different movement activities for children aged 2 to 6 years to follow at home.