Garrison Gray had more immediate plans for the stack of newspapers piling up at his home than a trip to the recycling bin.
There was music to be made, and the Brennen Elementary School first-grader was looking at all the tools he needed for a little moving and shaking.
“I cut them (the newspapers) apart and glued them (back together), and I made a drum,” Garrison said. “I just found stuff and started cutting.”
It was no surprise then that the 6-year-old found himself right at home during a Wednesday morning assembly at his school.
Garrison joined other first-grade and kindergarten students at Brennen as they welcomed cast members of “Sesame Street Live” for some creative musical fun and instruction. The Richland 1 school was the only stop-off for the popular educational children’s program before it opens at the Colonial Center tonight for a four-day run.
While offering a preview of the upcoming performances, the school visit also was intended to expose the students to some creative ways of making musical instruments with household items.
“Our show is about making music,” said Angelina Young, performance director for “Sesame Street Live.” “We just wanted the students to know that you can use homemade instruments.”
And who better to illustrate that point than Elmo and Cookie Monster, who got the morning started with a rousing song and dance. The two furry characters then handed out rice-filled cups, paper plates and plastic spoons, which the students used to produce a steady cadence of sound while keeping beat with the signature “Sesame Street” theme song.
“I was shaking a cup,” said first-grader Abby Hodge, expressing her approval of the morning activity.
Brennen music teacher Harriet Taylor said learning creative ways to produce sounds is part of the school’s regular music curriculum. She pointed to coffee cans, tissue boxes, rubber bands and garden hoses as just a few household items parents can use with their children to make instruments.
“There are all kinds of things,” Taylor said. “We can make musical instruments out of everyday objects.”