Photo by J. ChangI was so excited when I saw that Presley and Melody would be performing at the Fort Washington Library on June 7, 2012. I have been waiting a year since they performed at the opening celebration of the Kingsbridge Library in June 2011. I started blogging last year, and this was definitely a children's program that I wanted to write about. I am somewhat a groupie fan of Presley and Melody, like I am of LuAnn Adams, a storyteller that performs in NYPL libraries.
A Premier Performance: Presley and Melody are fantastic. I became enamored with them the first time I saw them. I love music, so this is definitely a program that I would like. They also have pop music, which is my favorite. They are so engaging with the kids, and use their music to teach kids about life (eg, healthy eating, being in love, etc.). They give the kids props to play with, and Melody leads the dances. The movements are simple and age-appropriate, so the kids follow along very well and a lot of the kids want to participate. Both Presley and Melody have nice voices, and they wear microphones so that everyone can hear them. I love their melodies and they play over in my head after seeing them perform. Sometimes they bring their daughters to perform with them, and sometimes they project the lyrics of their songs on a screen so that the kids can sing along.
I have seen Presley and Melody in numerous libraries, including twice at the Bronx Library Center (once in the auditorium and once on the second floor). In fact, this is how I met them. I was working on the second floor, and I directed them to the auditorium, with their plentiful equipment and props. I saw them at the opening of the Kingsbridge Library in June of 2011. They were also at the Summer Reading Celebration at the Westchester Square Library (I think in 2010).
Song and Dance: Presley and Melody always have a panoply of song and dance combos that are charming and cute for the kids. They encourage the kids to get up and dance and sing the songs along with them. They also have an impressive array of props and musical instruments for the kids to use during the performance.
1. One of the songs was about love. Melody taught the kids how to hold their hands together in the shape of a heart. Then, the heart would beat as the kids followed Melody in a dance. They slid to the side, then forward, then back. Presley played an electric guitar and sung with Melody and the kids.
2. "Raining Puppies" is definitely my favorite Presley and Melody song. I love animals, and I love the different breeds of puppies. Melody hands out photos of puppies on sticks for the kids to hold up as they walk around the room in a "puppy parade." Breeds that were represented included labradoodles, golden retrievers, cocker spaniels and beagles. Presley and Melody finally got a puppy for their family after going to the library to learn all about them. The refrain includes the lyrics, "I love my puppy. Instead of raining cats and dogs, rain down puppies!"
3. Melody encouraged the kids to sing the song about beauty. The audience members shook pompons in unison with the beat, following Melody's lead. The kids strummed inflated guitars, and Melody made simple dance movements that were easy for the kids to follow.
4. "Yummy Colors of the Rainbow": Presley and Melody had a song about the colors of the rainbow. Melody was encouraging the kids to be healthy by eating colorful fruits and vegetables. She asked them to name vegetables and fruits that were of a certain color. She talked about orange carrots and squash. She handed out photos of colorful fruits and veggies with sticks for kids to hold up as they danced to the song about eating healthy. Melody utilized an older kid as a volunteer to help her raise a cloth rainbow up in the air so that participants could walk under it while holding up their colorful fruit or veggie. Presley and Melody wanted to fill the room with rainbows by handing out sticks with colored cloths for the kids to wave as they walked under the rainbow.
6. "Alphabet Happy": Melody noticed a lot of little ones, so she decided to do the "Alphabet Happy" song. Presley and Melody are great at tailoring their performances to the age level and ability of the kids, and most of the kids in their programs are engaged and they participate. Melody handed out alphabet letters on top of sticks for the kids to hold up, and the song commenced. "Let's get alphabet happy. Come on... get happy. Sing the ABCs along with me." Melody let the kids take turns; eat kid sang three letters until the alphabet was completed!
As usual, Presley and Melody were fantastic, and I always enjoy their performances. I hope to catch them again at one of the NYPL libraries soon!