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Songwriter's Internship leads to Sesame Street

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street? Cody Landis, a participant in the Adult Community Autism Program (ACAP) can! He recently journeyed to New York City to learn about how the famous show is produced.

Since he was 4 years old, Cody has been following Steven Courtney, a singer/songwriter who has performed more than 6,200 concerts and recorded 30-plus full-length albums. Courtney is especially known for creating children’s music and family entertainment. Cody aspires to be a children’s songwriter as well. Cody’s job developer set up a tour of Courtney’s music studio and arranged a short-term internship with the musical mentor, who shared his experience in submitting songs for use on Sesame Street.

When news of this collaboration was shared with a Keystone Autism Services Board member, it led to further networking with a contact at Sesame Street’s New York City studio. A tour was arranged. After touring the set and meeting his favorite characters, Cody sat down with the music director and was given a sneak peek of the show’s Thanksgiving song in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanks to Cody’s recent internship with Courtney, Cody was able to identify the different elements of the multi-track recordings used by the show.

Cody plays harmonica, guitar, and a computerized drum machine to accompany the lyrics he writes. In the future, Cody hopes to continue writing children’s music and collaborating with Steven to pursue a career that will complement his musical talent.