What is CoLab?
CoLab is a two-week festival of collaboration at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Each year, in February, the students and staff of both music and dance faculties go off timetable to take part in week-long projects. Rather than being led by teachers, the projects are suggested and run by the students, with the whole festival being coordinated by the college. Each project is assigned an experienced mentor who guides the students for some of the time but work is primarily carried out by the students. Whilst many projects conclude with a concert or some sort of presentation of the work developed during the week, the focus is upon the collaborative process rather than producing a finished product.
The festival gives the participants a chance to work with students they might not otherwise meet, make new friends and develop interdisciplinary networks across the college and with external mentors. It’s a refreshing approach to education, giving everyone a lot of time crucially to try things out and improve their skills. In a world short of secure job opportunities for musicians and artists, those of us trying to make it in the creative field need to extend our imaginations, hone our social skills and enthuse about what chances we get to meet new, exciting people. CoLab is the perfect conduit to a career in music today.