Elmo makes Music Essay
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Sesame Street live concerts are known for providing kinetic shows which feature interactivity for children. The “Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music” concert, was held at the Memorial Auditorium on January 16, 2009. The show consisted of two acts, comprised of multiple skits each. This format allowed for a rapidly changing mix of sets and costumes, which help to foster a sense of excitement and expectancy for the audience.
The combination of visual and musical expression — each with many quick-paced variations — explored the universality which is implied in music, expressed at a level which even small children could understand.
One of the key elements of the Sesame Street live shows is the presentation of music as a spectrum of feelings and colors. To this end, the musical numbers provided a great range of styles and moods, from dance-numbers to more pensive, introspective melodies.
The participatory aspect of the show is also a key to its resonance and high entertainment value. By offering music which features bold, often simple melodies and stark, expressionistic musical tones, the children in the audience are able to rely on their natural instinct to clap, shout, and sing-along.
In this way, ‘Sesame Street live: Elmo Makes Music’ has a special musical message for the children, which is that music is a part of each and every one of them.
no matter their particular place or station in life. By encouraging children to sing along, or to participate in the show by using their hands and stamping feet to keep the rhythm of the music, the show promotes a sense of integration and communal experience which is ure to last far beyond the confines of the concert hall. Additionally, because the premise of the show was based upon continual surprise, the children in the audience are left with a sense of open-possibilities and wonder.
For example, the plot of the show centers around the idea that the actual band that was supposed to perform could not do so, because the truck with all of the music teacher’s instruments did not arrive on time. Accordingly, the whole show focuses around surprising Jenny, the music teacher who was upset because of her missing music instruments. The sesame street cast members decided to form their own band by creating percussion instruments and such, out of articles that they found, and could produce sound with.
This is an obvious “allegory” for the individual talents and capacities that each person holds within them; taken together, as a community, these capacities and talents make “music” which can also be seen as social harmony and cultural understanding. Specific songs included the rhyming poetically based ‘Sunny Days’ Sesame Street theme, as well as ‘What Makes Music’, and the popular ‘Who Are the People in your Neighborhood’. There was also a saucy little number called the Cookie Crumba Rumba which lent a sultry, rumba beat to the program.
Since the Rumba is a romantic dance that uses a lot of hip action and body movement, I leave it to your imagination to picture the comical aspects of this particular musical performance. Historically the rumba requires the performer to show plenty of emotion, and the fake heads were stuck in permanent grins, which made it even funnier. The Alphabet Dance, Fuzzy and Blue and Elmo’s World concluded Act I. In Act II the band led off with Together we will Make Music, and this was followed by a hilarious Bert and Ernie’s version of the famous Bee Gees Disco movie Boogie nights.
Bert was dressed up in the memorable John Travolta white polyester suit. Other numbers such as Triangle Cheer and a very lively Rockin’ Robin were especially fun. Percussion instruments definitely predominated, with an occasional wind instrument, as in the Honk Bang Whistle and Crash, skit. Thank You for the Music was somewhat reminiscent of the Carol Burnett theme, ‘So Glad we had this Time Together’. The last scene the new music teacher Jenny joins in, with the official Sesame Street Band.
The concert was a treat for the children, and the most difficult part of all for parents seemed to be explaining to their children why they could not join their friends on stage. Elmo Makes Music invited audience participation, and the children were thrilled to use their voices to sing, and their feet and hands to produce sounds as their own personal percussion instruments, to keep time with the beat and tempo. Because the overall theme of the show is that of communal inclusion, the mechanics and techniques used in creating the aesthetic approach of the show gives the show a sense of wholeness and authenticity.