Over the last few months we’ve been working with our newest trainee, Emma Halnan, a flautist from the Royal Academy of Music, who joined our animateur-in-residence Claire Henry for our latest Key Stage 1 project based around the theme of ‘Wacky Weather’!
We sat down with Emma to ask a few questions about her time as a trainee, including her funniest moments, biggest challenges and favourite memories.
Tell us a little bit about what you did during your time as an animateur.
Whilst working on this project, I had the opportunity to work alongside Claire Henry, a very experienced animateur. We spent three days delivering workshops in schools, preparing the children to watch and participate in the final concert: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. In the first session I mainly observed Claire, but as the project went on, I took on a bigger role. I introduced my flute and performed for the children, taught them about Vivaldi and the Four Seasons, and accompanied their singing and the raps they had put together, all about the weather!
What would you say was your funniest memory?
Often the children’s extreme reactions to new things – “It’s going to be AMAZING!” – although I’m not sure I’d entirely class this as funny, just really great! Claire’s outfit was also rather brilliant in the final concert.
What did you find most challenging?
In general, the children we worked with were really responsive and well-behaved. We visited one school on the last afternoon before their half term break, which affected the children’s concentration somewhat, and brought its own challenges. It is always a challenge to keep all children equally engaged throughout an entire session, but I do think this actually was a very successful project.
What was your favourite part?
Many parts! I always particularly enjoy the initial session, as so much is new for the children and they get so excited! It was also very satisfying to see everything come together so well.
Was the life of an animateur what you expected it to be?
I have worked in this field before, so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect; however, every animateur deals with things very differently – they all have their own unique ideas, strategies, games etc. It is therefore always fascinating to work with somebody new, and to draw upon their knowledge and experience.