Rose Music Hall advertised a benefit concert for the Creative Kids’ Scholarship Fund; when deciding to attend, I did not know how bad it would be. Performing was Mr. Benjamin and the Fun Band. The band was late to start, the function was poorly run, and the songs were awful.
This was a fundraiser for a children’s school; I knew there would be games for kids. Because of this, I brought my three-year-old brother. This event was promoted as being from 11:00-2:00, with the band starting at 11:00. However, the band did not come on stage until 11:55. In the meantime, there were activities for the kids to do. Face paint, pumpkin painting, and tye-dying shirts were available and a hit with the kids.
When the band finally came on stage, they did “warm-ups” with the kids. These warm-ups were singing, reaching up to the sky, and then touching the ground. The kids and band were ready to start, then one hour of children’s songs began. Many of their lyrics are about random animals or objects. Other songs are about going to grandma’s house, the growth of a little seed, and the life of a hippo (performed in English and Spanish). The songs could have been written in a more engaging and educational manner. The music itself was upbeat and approximately half the children in attendance enjoyed it. Those kids jumped and danced. The other half (including my brother) were not amused. They preferred to paint pumpkins or play other activities.
If for some unknown reason you are still considering seeing this band, click the link below to see an example of what was played at these concerts. This song is Tina the Turkey, a song about, you guessed it, a turkey named Tina. Tina hatches from her egg and from there starts living her best life. She strolls through town to see the sights; she is continuously on the road without being hit. She outruns animal control and we hear the chorus of “go-go tina”.
Song lyrics about the joy to be found playing in traffic are not a benefit to young children.
Similarly to Tina the turkey, their playlist includes songs about an elephant, a rainbow, and the planet Jupiter. But it did not stop there; songs about a big crack in the wall, the rain-rain dance, and the jammy dance were also performed.
If children’s music is your jam, better options are available. Patty Shukla released an album called Jump, Wiggle, and Hop. In this, songs about learning shapes, eating fruit and phonics words are the topics. These educational songs have value for a child unlike Mr. Benjamin and the Fun Band who give unrealistic ideas of animal’s lives.
Mr. Benjamin and the Fun Band concluded their set by inviting the children up on stage and singing the goodbye song. If I had known what Mr. Benjamin and the Fun Band experience was, I would have avoided the entire event.