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Emily has worked as both an animateur and a teaching artist. 


An animateur works to engage and inspire communities through the arts, often within

an orchestra or educational setting. They facilitate workshops, interactive performances,

and community projects to encourage creativity and make music accessible and enjoyable for all.


Emily McKnight: has worked as an animateur since 2017. Since then, she has created new shows for different ensembles each year, focussing on performing shows that encourage imagination and interaction while entertwining music education and engagement with orchestral music. When presenting for children preschool age and younger, she performs as her character 

Emily Who. She is experienced in creating and presenting concerts and workshops aimed at children - enhancing their experience of music, and engaging in their own creativity. 


She is also a flute tutor, conductor, and previously ran the full extra curricular music programs at Forest Lodge Primary School and Erskineville Public School. 


She has worked on shows as a writer and a presenter with:

  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra

2018 - 2019: Percussion Club (foyer activity)

2021 - 2022: Education shows for age 5 - 14 

2022 - 2024: two shows performed around Sydney, with string quartet, for preschool children and their families 

2023: Family Concert at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall - including narrating A Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, by Benjamin Britten 

  • Sydney Youth Orchestra

2023 - present: Monthly shows at the Sydney Opera House for Kids Music Cafe. Introducing children aged 0-3 to music 

  • The Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra

2017- present: Annual Kids 

  • Inner West Community Band
    2024: Children’s Concert

  • The Beecroft Orchestra

2023: Children’s Concert

  • Arcadia Winds

2020: Musical Pirate Adventures webseries


Training: Rachel Leach (UK based animateur) and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

In May 2024 Emily attended a weeklong training with UK-based animateur, Rachel Leach, to learn alongside the newly appointed NZSO animateur Chris Lam Sam. She was given the opportunity to participate in running workshops in schools - and received coaching on best methods to write and facilitate such workshops. Rachel also presented a show she had written for a range of audiences, which created an additional learning environment for Emily to witness the work, its effect on audiences of different ages, and inspire ideas for her to continue creating her own. The three animateurs also spent much time in discussion, asking questions and swapping ideas on how this work can be done effectively - and how it might be perceived differently in our respective countries

Teaching Artist
A teaching artist is a professional artist who educates others in their art form, designing and delivering classes or workshops to develop students' artistic skills and knowledge while fostering a deeper understanding of the art form.

Emily is an Artist in Residence at the Sydney Opera House, facilitating their 'Creative Leadership in learning' program - as a teaching artist in a school for 8 weeks. 

She has also worked as a teaching artist for Sport for Jove Theatre company, running Shakespeare workshops and judging the annual Shakespeare Carnival. In addition to this, she has worked in schools teaching music, conducting ensembles and running workshops. 

If you would like to engage Emily as an animateur or teaching artist,


please email:

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