As we prepare for our Crash Bang Wallop! Secrets of the Garden family concert on 18 June, we caught up with CLS animateur Ruth Rosales.
Ruth has also been leading workshops with CLS musicians for Key Stage 1 children in Tower Hamlets around the theme of Secrets of the Garden – writing songs to perform with the Orchestra in June.
What is an animateur?
An animateur is someone who helps people to appreciate music in new ways; so it could be someone who does workshops and projects, or someone who introduces pieces in a concert. For me, an animateur is someone who bridges the gap between the orchestra and the audience.
What’s the best part of working on a project like Secrets of the Garden?
I love working on projects that require imagination, both from me and the children. Some of the creative comments and responses that I get in workshops are simply fantastic. It’s so exciting to see the project develop and where it ends up, as it can change from the initial idea to something completely different.
It’s also amazing to see the children singing all together enthusiastically and being excited about orchestras and the instruments.
How do you come up with the ideas for a concert?
I like the projects to have an educational message for the children; Secrets of the Garden is focusing on bees and how important they are for the environment.
You always wear amazing costumes – how important is costume to you to make your stories come alive?
I have presented concerts without costume before, but what I particularly love about wearing costumes is that it helps a character to develop and a story to be told. I think by asking the children to make costumes or props, it also helps them to feel more involved.
Why do you think music is so important to children as they grow and learn?
There is so much pressure on children today to be doing tests and exams and fewer chances for them to be creative and to just have fun. Music provides an opportunity for creativity.
There are also countless studies that show music helps social and emotional development and communication skills. Music is a huge part of my life and I love sharing something that’s been so instrumental to me.