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Musicals, unlike books, offer live performance experiences to stories making them lively and exciting. The atmospheres created offer fun environment while at the same time highlighting the morals within the musicals. Various musicals have been created over time with brilliant plots and scripts and offering long-lasting experiences on the audience. For instance, the “metropolis musical” highlights on the futuristic society and the effects of despotic governance. The “mama Mia musical” on the other hand highlights on love mysteries. “the last ship musical” on the other hand tackles political issues and possible demise of a ship-making yard. Lastly, the musicals “Hedwig and angry inch” and “Les Miserables” self-bitterness and social struggles respectively.
An analysis into these musicals brings various understanding into musicals and their importance in learning. The musicals’ motifs help in the understanding of aspects of history and society. The musicals were composed in different times addressing various historical issues. For instance, the musical “the last ship” addresses the historical British industrial decline after the decline of the shipbuilding industry. In the musical “Les Miserables” also, the composer brings out various social aspects and makes them easy to understand, i.e., the reality of the lower end of the social structure and what it means to be poor. The composer helps in the understanding that neglecting the poor is a sin before God. Similarly, the musical “metropolis” gives insights into the aspects of social democracy. In the futuristic city, the composer describes a situation where the ruling capitalists do not relate with the workers leading to a rebellion. The musical can also help in the understanding of the early social settings in many European countries which saw the emergence of trade unions and industrial action in the capitalist countries.
There are various advantages of learning through musicals as compared to reading books and lectures. First, musicals boost confidence. Learning through musicals requires that the students engage themselves through participation in the performances, this has a confidence boost on the students. Learning through books and lectures is often less engaging, students are not able to know their potential until they participate in stage production and musicals. Also, learning through musicals is fun compared to boring lectures and silent books. A musical performance involves the use of colorful costumes and occasional singing, making the whole experience fun. The experience of learning from books and lectures leaves the students to create their experiences through imagination. Music also relieves stress and helps in the personal boosting success in students. Learning is a tiresome process, and the only way to get through is to minimize learning related stress. Music is known to produce human pleasure and enhance feelings which lead to self-determination. Lastly, musical learning promotes teamwork. Musical performance needs taking roles from team leaders to managers hence enhancing leadership skill as compared to solitude reading from books or listening to lectures.
An analysis of the five musicals brings out different vital things to be learned. For instance, from the musical, metropolis, it is clear that it is important to stand for what you believe. Maria believed that the world with social democracy is better than the despotic regime that limits the lower classes. Also from the musical, Les Miserables, we learn that love conquers all. Loving each other can be the change we need to conquer the world. Similarly, the musical “Hedwig and the angry inch,” we learn that it is not important to dwell on the past. Hedwig had the option to either run from the past or learn from the past. Finally, from the musical “the last ship,” it is fascinating how the critical theme of father-son relationship plays out. It is apparent that it is important to be who you are and its okay to be different. Sons do not always walk in their father’s boots.
From the songs of the musical, the singing plays an essential role in describing the performance, i.e., helping in telling the stories, expressing character emotions, describing the climax of a particular role or performing special functions within the production. In the musical Mama Mia, the singing of the song “Chiquitita” serves to describe the character “Donna” and how she is faced with a situation she cannot fathom and her friends try to cheer her up. Some song in the musical “Hedwig and the angry inch” are used to express reprise of the character Hedwig. For instance, the song “wicked little town (reprise)” is used to show how the character Hedwig has transformed throughout the night from being the character Hedwig to being out of costume and resembling Tommy gnosis. Lastly, some songs are used to express the emotional climax of the performance. In the musical Hedwig and the angry inch, the song “midnight radio” is sung by Yitzhak as Hedwig exits the stage. The song serves as a climax to the transformations experienced by Hedwig, and in the climax, she finally accepts herself and gives up her disguises by giving away her wig.
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