About three years ago, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) began a program called Class Notes, designed to teach children about the different aspects of music based on standards set by the MN Department of Education. Their goal was to provide teachers across the state of Minnesota with a written curriculum and a series of videos that would engage the kids while enhancing their musical literacy. For three years in a row, Crash+Sues has teamed up with Classical MPR to produce over 40 videos to help teach kids and inspire them to dive into the world of music.
The concepts in the Academic Standards in the Arts are a list of guidelines for teachers to follow when creating curriculum for the classroom, so at face value it's not really material that kids are begging for. The challenge was to take the content outlined in the Standards and present it to children in a way that's easy to understand and enjoyable to learn. Crash+Sues wanted to have the videos be full of fun - quirky humor, silly characters, amusing animation, so on and so forth, primarily aimed at grades 3-6.
Using a combination of live action and animation, the studio explored such topics as, "What Do Conductors Do," "How to Behave at a Concert" and "What's Inside a Score" - instructing kids on the difference between major and minor, on what constitutes a "round," and given kids insight into what instruments might best suit their individual needs.
"Producing professional-grade classroom videos was a daunting task... until Crash+Sues came on board," said Brett Baldwin, MPR's Managing Digital Producer. "From production planning, to conceptualizing, to on-site direction, animation, color and finish, they have made the making of our videos a smooth and enjoyable ride. Not only are C+S tireless in their efforts to deliver the best final product, they are also experts at working together with clients and transforming ideas into magical and engaging experiences. Working with C+S has been a terrific experience and I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone seeking production, creative storytelling, or animation and finishing work."