A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this fun-filled series not only introduces children to the joys of listening and dancing to music, but also explores the various components that go into making music -- such as rhythm, lyrics, and instruments. The endearing puppet characters also encourage creativity by suggesting that viewers can use everyday objects for making music.
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What's the story?
The star of Noggin's rockin' series is Jack, a cool, music-loving puppet who hangs out in his backyard clubhouse with best puppet pals Mary and Mel the dog. The trio makes lively music together (Jack plays the guitar, Mary the accordion, and Mel the drums), and each episode involves some sort of music-related adventure or dilemma that they must solve -- such as being granted three wishes from Prudence the musical genie, or figuring out how to get their instruments back when Sheldon the Grumpy Squirrel makes them disappear. Special musical guests usually drop by the clubhouse to perform, talk about instruments, or help solve the problem at hand (usually through song), and sometimes guests play characters in the story. Each episode includes a music video, often by acclaimed children's vocal artist Laurie Berkner, whose fun, original songs feature positive, inspiring lyrics. And, on occasion, a winsome a capella puppet quartet pops up to sing a ditty.
Is it any good?
All of the puppets in Jack's Big Music Show are wonderfully cute and funny, and the silly humor -- on a par with Sesame Street's -- never fails to hit its mark. And aside from the educational value of some of the music, the lively songs the puppets play are sure to get any toddler bouncing to the beat. Many of the videos show children dancing around, which encourages young viewers to move to the music.
Best of all, the tunes won't drive parents crazy (unless, of course, they have an aversion to loud, jumpy music). Although many of the numbers played by Jack and his pals are based on the repetitive melodies of well-known children's songs, you've never heard them like this before. Jack's Big Music Show is an excellent way to expose children to different kinds of instruments and styles of music, and kids will develop creativity and an enthusiasm for the art while dancing, singing, and being silly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what children learned from each episode. What problem were Jack and his friends trying to solve? Who helped them solve it? What was the solution? Another discussion topic could be the music in each episode. Did you like the songs they sang? What were the songs about? Which songs were your favorites? What did you learn about music in this episode? How can you make music at home?
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