Site Overview . Chuck Vanderchuck | PBS Parents

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Chuck Vanderchuck and his sidekick, Ramona, are obsessed with learning everything there is to know about music. Together they will present five different musical genres: Salsa, Jazz, Rock, Country, and Reggae. Children will learn about different instruments used for each musical style, and play games through which they will have the chance to identify instruments, write lyrics, compose melodies, create costumes, and play in a virtual concert with Chuck and Ramona.

Learning Goals

The goal of Chuck Vanderchuck’s “Something Something” Explosion! is to help children understand music and music composition by teaching basic musical concepts and performance skills through the study of popular song styles from around the world. Each week, children are introduced to a new musical style and the culture from which that style was born. They then learn to perform basic rhythmic and melodic patterns in that style through the use of fun, interactive games. Children will learn about the geography and culture that birthed these musical styles. They will have an understanding of the basic rhythmic and melodic components that are characteristic of each style. Children will be able to recognize and perform the fundamental patterns (melodic and rhythmic) of each style, and they will gain a basic comprehension of song composition/structure.

The main goals of this project are to teach children:

  • Instruments and their sounds
  • Song structure
  • Lyric writing
  • Musical styles
  • Ear training

Advisory Team

Neil Leonard
Neil Leonard is a composer, sound artist and saxophonist. Leonard’s Dreaming of an Island, (for orchestra, electronics and live‐video) was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. His composition Totems was premiered at Carnegie Hall by Don Byron and Uri Caine. Leonard's collaborative work with visual artist Maria Magdalena Campos‐Pons were featured by the Venice Biennial and the Museum of Modern Art (NYC).

Leonard was a contributing author for the History Channel’s documentary on the Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage entitled Save Our Sounds. His articles have been featured by Electronic Musician, Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, American National Biography (Oxford University Press) Leonard is a professor of Electronic Production and Design at Berklee College of Music, Boston. He taught sound installation at the University of Padova and the C. Pollini Conservatory, Italy.

Beth Rabin, PhD.
Beth E. Rabin, Ph.D. served as an Educational Consultant for this project, ensuring that the content is developmentally appropriate for the target audience. She has twenty years of experience in educational evaluation and research, including five years as Vice President of Research at Research Communications, Ltd. (Boston, MA).

Previous projects range from evaluation of children’s television series for public and commercial television to university‐level educational programs. For the past three years, she has been the Educational Consultant for the PBS children’s series WordGirl. Other recent projects include formative research and evaluation for PBS’s Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train, and the Disney Channel’s My Friends Tigger & Pooh and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Dr. Rabin holds a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education. She is also the mother of twin 8‐year‐old girls who love taking piano lessons.

Antonio Fermin, Ph.D.
An authority on curriculum development, Dr. Fermín has worked closely with music specialists, classroom teachers, and administrators in a wide range of pedagogical issues, from creating, implementing, and assessing curriculum development to integrating strategies to strengthen students’ performance from diverse backgrounds. He has developed programs for Carnegie Hall’s Education Department, The Aspen Music Festival and School, McGraw-Hill Publishers, and Scholastic, among others.
For the past 25 years, he has taught piano to children and adults and has developed comprehensive music curricula for grades Pre-K-12 reflecting effective experimental and progressive approaches. As Manager of Educational Programs at Carnegie Hall, Dr. Fermín developed and implemented programs to motivate young audiences, including providing New York City public school teachers with the appropriate pedagogical workshops and strategies to advance their teaching skills.
During his tenure at The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division as a piano faculty member, Dr. Fermin’s goals were to provide students with tools to develop their own musical intellect and creative problem solving skills. As a soloist, he has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, The Aspen Music Festival, Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Sonidos de las Américas sponsored by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, The New York Chamber Sinfonia, and The New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble.
He holds a Ph.D. from New York University; a Masters from The Juilliard School and a Bachelors of Music with Honors from the New England Conservatory. Dr. Fermin has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and a faculty member at The Juilliard School. He was recently appointed to the Advisory Board at Scholastic, Inc., a global children's publishing, education and media company where he is also an author and consultant.

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