It’s amazing, and sometimes distressing, to think about the lengths to which people will go in order to amuse themselves. If sufficiently desperate for distraction from the pain of everyday existence, human beings will voluntarily endanger themselves and others, all in the name of kicks. It’s almost as if entertainment itself is a drug to which people become resistant as they grow older and more jaded, so they need larger and stronger doses just to get a fraction of the high they once experienced so easily. Under such grim circumstances, it’s worthwhile to reflect back on those relatively carefree days of early childhood. Little kids have a knack for finding great entertainment value in extremely modest diversions. As a sterling example, look no further than this delightful YouTube video, in which a young man attending music class shows that there is nothing more fun in this world than clapping along to a simple acoustic folk song. Seriously, this kid is way, way into clapping. And laughing. And laughing about clapping. To paraphrase A Mighty Wind, this is the kind of infectious that’s good to spread around.
The video was filmed at the Shalom Early Childhood Center in Great Neck, New York, during a session with guitar-strumming instructor Sara Shonfeld, who since 2008 has been teaching music and percussion classes to students of all age groups through a Long Island-based service called Musical Minds. Shonfeld’s philosophy states, in part, that “children can learn complex ideas and subjects through music.” That may be true, but they can also learn extremely simple ideas through music, too, namely the idea that the act of clapping along to a song is hilarious. This kid may well be the best audience member in the history of audiences. It’s a little early to make long-term career plans, but he would seem to have a bright future as either a talk-show sidekick or an attendee of every open mic night for the rest of time. Put this kid in the front row. He’ll get the laughs started.