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Beatlemania?

Yesterday, I shared with you my experiences  on my younger daughter’s Class Field Trip to the Ozark Mountain Folk Center in Mountain View, AR, so you already know how I was convinced to chaperone two separate school outings this fall.

The setting for today’s adventure with my 10-year-old daughter was the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, AR, where they were having a Beatles exhibit.  That’s Beatles with an A not an E as one mother had to patiently explain to her daughter when she complained that she didn’t want to go see an exhibit about bugs. “How many kinds of beetles could there possibly be anyway, mom?” Once her mother explained that it was a music group from the sixties and even listed a few songs that her daughter was familiar with (“I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, “Yesterday”, etc.), she was once again excited at the prospect of the Field Trip.

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I entered this exhibit with some misgivings, however, as I was raised an Elvis fan and my husband’s parents are serious Beatles fans. His family is constantly trying to improve my opinion of one of their favorite music groups. His parents are such fans that they even chose a Beatles song as their wedding song. Well, one of them chose it. The other one wanted “The Way You Look Tonight” by Tony Bennett. So every time I ask what their wedding song was, the answer I get from the spouse who compromised is “Yellow Submarine”. It’s become such a long standing joke that no one can remember that their wedding song actually was, “Here, There and Everywhere”. I actually had to call my mother-in-law and ask. There are even quite a few Beatles songs that I like, but when pressed I probably couldn’t tell you who really sings them. “Yellow Submarine” is one of the few songs that I can state with 100% certainty is by the Beatles (thanks, family!).

My husband and I did learn some things we hadn’t known about the Beatles. For instance, did you know that album covers as an art form largely didn’t exist before the Beatles and their influence is still seen on covers today? I was also thrilled to learn that ELVIS was a huge inspiration to the Beatles and their music. Nevertheless, the most interesting thing about the exhibit was the kids’ reactions to it. They really enjoyed the hands-on exhibits where they could take a drum lesson or sing “Yellow Submarine” with Ringo Starr. They all posed in front of the Abbey Road album cover.

In the museum’s classroom they were played a video of “Hello, Goodbye” (seen here) and asked to comment on it. This perhaps was the most enlightening moment of the trip. My daughter liked the video because “It makes me happy!” A few other children agreed, liking the bright vibrant colors and the upbeat tempo of the song. Others completely disagreed saying that the video was “boring and ridiculous”. They complained that the band just stood on stage the whole time playing their instruments and singing directly into the camera. They wanted the video to be more like today’s with nonstop action and scenery and costume changes and lip-syncing, etc. They were awed to learn that the Beatles video was completed in one scene and not a hundred tiny pieces all spliced together.

Ultimately, aside from all the fun and learning that occurred today, the big take away for me was that once they reach 10 years old no matter how much they beg you to go on their field trip with them, they really don’t want you there. Spending time with their friends is much more important. And that’s a little sad for me to say. My little girl is growing up and doesn’t need me as much as she used to.

 

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