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Tunes and Tunes for Teens

Tune and Toons for Teens logo

Guarneri Hall’s Tunes and Toons for Teens (TTT) program was launched in 2020 to connect young people in under-resourced communities to music and the creative process by engaging their artistic talents in innovative ways. The TTT program takes participants with no previous animation experience through the steps of creating their own animated video, based on a story they write themselves, with a unique classical music soundtrack that they choose. The process fosters context for classical music in young peoples’ lives while teaching the building blocks of effective storytelling and the technical skills needed to produce simple animated videos. The program is free of charge to students to ensure that economic status will not be a barrier to participation.

Following a 2020-21 pilot  demonstrated that the TTT curriculum can be delivered effectively and students can be fully engaged through remote learning platforms. Now, Guarneri Hall is seeking to partner with schools, institutions, and organizations who work with youth to expand the TTT program to a wider audience, not only in the US but internationally. Read about the curriculum and see eligibility requirements for students and for community organizations below.

Watch a video created by 8th grader and newly-minted filmmaker Santiago Vera.


In a 6-week session, TTT participants learn how to:

  • Connect music with storytelling
  • Storyboard for video
  • Create a basic computer animation (using Videoscribe software)
  • Add and synchronize a musical track to a video
  • Promote their videos locally and worldwide

Guarneri Hall Affiliate Artists (established professional musicians connected with Guarneri Hall) work with students in developing classical music soundtracks for their animated videos. Students collaborate with the Affiliate Artists remotely while the artists play and record the tracks for the videos in Guarneri Hall. Audio engineer Chris Willis edits the audio to ensure the tracks sound their best. Guarneri Hall Creative Director Michael Grittani then helps students create front and back covers for their videos to make them complete.

Final versions of the animated films are displayed on Guarneri Hall’s website and promoted to an international audience. Videos that gain the most views in a time period determined by Guarneri Hall will be eligible for cash prizes and inclusion in awards ceremonies.

Student Guidelines and Eligibility Requirements

  1. Students aged 13-17 in communities where a TTT program will be held are eligible to apply. In some instances, applicants outside of the eligible age range can be considered, subject to the discretion of the TTT  leadership team.
  2. Students must apply to the TTT program through a school, institution, or organization that is sponsoring a TTT session in their community. If there is no local TTT program, young people and their parents are encouraged to ask a trusted community organizer to contact the TTT team to explore launching TTT in their community.
  3. No prior experience with, or training in, music or animation is required.
  4. There is no tuition charge for the program; participants pay nothing.
  5. Participant eligibility for prizes and awards is contingent on attendance and attitude. 
  6. Participants must speak English.
  7. Participants must have an active Gmail account that they can log into and communicate with daily.
  8. Participants must be able to commit to the program schedule in the designated physical location for the scheduled sessions and be willing to work between class meetings as needed to complete their project.
  9. Each participant must submit  a Minor Release Form (provided by Guarneri Hall), signed by their  parent or legal guardian.

Students apply to the TTT program through a process that is coordinated by Guarneri Hall. To be considered for the program, students will listen to six musical excerpts and create an original story (or stories) based on one of them. Note: Students may submit more than one story based on more than one of the excerpts.

After all student submissions are reviewed by the Guarneri Hall TTT team, a maximum of six finalists from each community will be selected to move forward based on their completed application and their story’s content and creativity. Currently, the TTT program is limited to six participants per six-week session.

Community/Institutional Requirements

In keeping with the TTT program’s mission to increase access to quality educational resources, applications from communities in under-resourced communities will be given priority, and international applications are welcome.

  1. A local community educator or organizer must commit to overseeing the TTT program locally (experience as an educator preferred).
  2. The local organizer must be able to recruit 6 participants who meet eligibility requirements for each 6-week session.
  3. There must be a physical facility for TTT class meetings with enough computers and internet bandwidth for 7 simultaneous connections (one for each participant and one for the local class leader).
  4. There must be additional access to computers and the internet for participants to complete their projects outside of class time.
  5. TTT sessions will be offered a maximum of three times annually: fall, spring, and summer. Program access is limited to one community per 6-week session due to the capacity of the Guarneri Hall TTT team.

For more information or to apply, please email

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