What do Animateurs do?An Animateur helps audiences to appreciate musicians and music in new ways and helps them to enjoy music that they may not be familiar with. They also help the musicians as they develop techniques for reaching out to their communities and encourage as many people as possible to engage with music and music related activites.
A music Animateur may work on a freelance basis or they may be employed by an arts organisation, community organisation, educational organisation or by an established orchestra, group of musicians or music company.
An Animateur may be involved in a specific event as facilitator or workshop leader helping participants in the event to enjoy and appreciate the music. If they are employed by a music organisation on an ongoing basis they may be involved in planning and delivering community outreach programmes or events to encourage more participation, or participation from members of the community who are not usually involved in such events.
Some organisations, such as the Spitalfields Festival in London, run apprentice schemes for music Animateurs to give people starting their career pratical experience in the skills needed to bring in new audiences and enhance their enjoyment and involvement in the music.
Some orchestras employ Animateurs either permanently or on a project basis for specific programmes or events. The Animateur will be responsible for helping the audience or participants in the event to engage more fully or in new ways. People respond to music and culture in different ways and Animateurs can help to bring a different kind of concert experience and help listeners to connect with music in a new way.
A good Animateur can help audiences make deeper and more personally relevant connections with the music and musicians. They can broaden the experience and make it richer in different ways, for example by providing historical and musical background on a piece, introducing musical themes and examples, offering ways for listeners to actively participate in the event, or interviewing musicians, conductors, and composers.
An Animateur often works with children and young people, but may work with all sectors of the community. They may be a musician themselves, or have an excellent knowledge of music. They may specialise in a particular type of music such as opera, classical or jazz. Some music, in particular some African music, has Animateurs who form part of the musical performance. Their role is the ability to excite and energise, without detracting from the other musicians.