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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chuck Vanderchuck's Something Something Explosion is a fun music education site that teaches kids how to appreciate the basics of music by studying a different genre each month, beginning with salsa. Garage band leader Chuck Vanderchuck and his sidekick, Ramona, ask kids to complete different activities that teach rhythm, songwriting, instrument identification, and more to help them get ready for their next gig. Genres will include Jazz, Rock, Reggae, and Country.
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Is it any good?
It's a joy to see music, songwriting, and ear training taught in such an accessible and effective style online for elementary school-age kids. Chuck and Ramona are likable characters who expertly talk kids through the instructions for games that include rather challenging music skills such as guessing instrument combinations; writing Mad Lib-style lyrics; and matching rhythms to ones played on pots and pans and other kitchen tools. Games have three levels from which to choose. The videos and other features are also top-notch. Once again, PBS Kids provides a site that kids will enjoy and parents can feel good about.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what role music plays in your family. Does your child like your taste in music? Do you like his or hers? How can you learn to appreciate each other's music and expand your playlists together? Read Common Sense Media's Music and Your Kids Tipsheet. It's not too early to set guidelines around music choices.
Talk about stereotypes surrounding musicians and singers. Do all musicians have to dress strangely, sing about taboo topics, and act silly on stage?
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