Classical Music's Most Memorable Moments On Sesame Street

Whether teaching the ABCs or addressing decidedly more grown-up topics, Sesame Street has expanded children's minds and hearts since its debut nearly fifty years ago. Many musicians have visited Sesame Street, introducing people of all ages to great music. There have been many inspiring musical moments on Sesame Street, but here are some of WFMT's favorites!

  1. 1

    When Plácido Domingo met Plácido Flamingo

    The recurring Sesame Street character—based on the Spanish tenor—joins his namesake in a bilingual duet.

  2. 2

    Alan Gilbert explains what a conductor does

    As part of Sesame Street's long-running “People in Your Neighborhood” segment, Murray and Ovejita drop by Lincoln Center to visit Alan Gilbert and some students at the Juilliard School.

  3. 3

    Denyce Graves sings Elmo to sleep

    Uh oh—Elmo doesn’t want to go to sleep! Luckily, Denyce Graves has a solution: a Bizet-inspired lullaby, complete with a chorus of sheep.

  4. 4

    This Ode to Brass

    This trumpet, french horn, tenor horn, and sousaphone/Wagner horn need some help getting Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” in order.

  5. 5

    Yo-Yo Ma plays with the Honkers

    Yo-Yo Ma joins the Sesame Street Chamber Music Society for a performance of Beethoven’s masterful (but little-known) Quartet for Two Honkers, Dinger, and Cello.

  6. 6

    Evelyn Glennie plays the drums

    Oscar won't let Evelyn Glennie play in his junk band—that is, until he hears her trash can solo. Glennie, who has been deaf since the age of 12, uses her other senses to help her make music.

  7. 7

    Elmo learns the fiddle

    With Ma's help, Elmo learns the difference between a “little fiddle” and a “big fiddle”—a violin and a cello.

  8. 8

    The Barber of Sesame Street

    Murray and Ovejita visit Lincoln Center and meet mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard while she is performing the role of Rosina in Rossini's "The Barber of Seville."

  9. 9

    The gang gets the blues

    Of course, Yo-Yo Ma couldn't leave Sesame Street without convincing Hoots that the cello can sing the blues, too.

  10. 10

    Lang Lang learns how to deal with "artistic" personalities

    Lang Lang auditions for a solo gig with the Grouch Symphony Orchestra, but finds that Maestro Grouch is hard to please!

  11. 11

    Itzhak Perlman talks about "easy" and "hard"

    This brief, touching clip serves as a reminder that we all have our own unique strengths and challenges.

  12. 12

    The Alphabet Song gets an amazing descant by Bobby McFerrin

    Bobby McFerrin shows some new friends his take on the ABCs.

  13. 13

    Marilyn Horne teaches us that "C" is for "cookie"

    Looks like someone's been hanging out with the Cookie Monster... In this Aida-inspired clip, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne sings an ode to her favorite snack.

  14. 14

    Telly and Perlman get Bach to basics

    Telly and Itzhak Perlman perform the famous Minuet in G, with Telly playing “the fun part” on his tuba.

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