Charles Pettee - Hear the Sound

Charles Pettee - Hear the Sound

Charles Pettee loves his “second career” as a performing teaching artist where he shares the ongoing multicultural story of Bluegrass Music! After an acclaimed career featuring over 3,000 performances as singer, mandolin player and songwriter with the world travelling Bluegrass group The Shady

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Bluegrass Stomp (Grades 3-5)


Program description

“Bluegrass Stomp” (grades 3-5) is a romp through the musical styles from around the world that make up North Carolina Folk and Bluegrass music.. This informative and interactive show combines Charles Pettee’s experience in over 5,500 performances from all over the US and Europe, with his blazing skills on the mandolin, guitar, banjo and harmonica, to delight students and teachers alike with a


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Program Detail

Program type: Assembly/Performance, Out-of-School-Time, Workshop
Artistic Discipline: Music
Cultural Origin: African, American, European
Subject: Music, Social Studies / History
Population served: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5
Bilingual: No
Available dates:

Year-round on a first-come, first served basis

Available times:

At the convenience of the presenter, first-come, first served basis

Length of program: 45 minutes (generally)
Space / technical requirements:

10′ by 15′ performance space, one six-foot table, general stage lighting, (when possible). Artist brings complete sound system included in the fee.


Gym, cafetorium, multi-purpose room, music room, classroom, library – any space determined by the presenter to be adequate for the audience

Fees / Ticketing:

One show = $550.00 (including sound system and travel)
Two shows, same location = $850.00 (including sound system and travel)


NC Standard Course of Study:

R6: “Assess how point of view, perspective, or purpose shapes the content and style of a text. ” Throughout his presentations, Mr. Pettee strives to offer examples of how a culture’s music and history, (be it West African, European, or American), cause the music to sound the way it does. (example: the Guitar, a Spanish musical instrument has a certain sound that supports Flamenco dance. Appalachian clog dancing calls for a different style and rhythm, which the guitar, played with a flat-pick, accomplishes nicely as well). SL4: “Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.” In his presentations, Mr. Pettee demonstrates a variety of musical styles from around the world that combined in the US to provide the ingredients for NC Bluegrass music. By the end of a program or residency, many students will be able to “hear” how, for example, sounds from West Africa played on a banjo, have been carried over to the harmonica or guitar to make what are now known as “blues” music. Mr. Pettee also describes how these “blues” sounds form the basis for Bluegrass, Jazz, and Rock. L3: “Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.” Regarding music as “language” please see the SL4 and R6 above. Regarding song lyrics as language with different meanings and uses, every program contains a variety of songs, whose lyrics express either historically significant moments (e.g., the Civil War, or the Underground Railroad), tell stories (e.g., “The Lollipop Tree” song), or simply provide clever, catchy rhythms and rhymes (e.g., ‘Old Joe Clark” or “Ain’t No Bugs on Me”)

NC Essential Standards:

* 3.ML.1.2 Execute the performance of major scale tones using the voice. * 3.MR.1.4 Identify the sounds of a variety of instruments and voices, including many orchestral instruments, instruments from various cultures * 3.CR.1.1 Exemplify how music is used by various groups for artistic expression within the local community. * 4.ML.3.2 Create compositions and arrangements using a variety of traditional and nontraditional sound sources. (Residency only) * 4.MR.1.1 Illustrate perceptual skills by moving to, answering questions about, and describing aural examples of music of various styles and cultures. * 4.CR.1.1 Understand how music has affected, and is reflected in, the culture, traditions, and history of North Carolina. (And other southern states, in the case of performances in SC, VA, GA,TN, etc.) * 5.ML.3.2 Create compositions and arrangements within specified guidelines. (Residency only) * 5.CR.1.1 Understand how music has affected, and is reflected in, the culture, traditions, and history of the United States. Social Studies Connections: *3.C.1.2 Exemplify how various groups show artistic expression within the local and regional communities. *4.C.1.2 Explain how the artistic expression of various groups represents the cultural heritage of North Carolina. *5.C.1.4 Understand how cultural narratives (legends, songs, ballads, games, folk tales and art forms) reflect the lifestyles, beliefs and struggles of diverse ethnic groups.

Supporting Materials

A more complete list of NC Essential Standards met by Charles Pettee's programs



Conducts educational programming for 2 or more years: Yes
Performs criminal background checks on staff with youth contact: Yes
Three letters of recommendation / references available: Yes
Provides study guides for teachers and or students: Yes
Connects to State and or Common Core Curriculum Standards: Yes
Provides tools to assess student learning (workshops and residencies): Yes
Provides scholarship and reduced fees: Yes
Conducts ongoing assessments of program quality: Yes


  • Jamming on the mandolin


  • Brief sample "This Little Light of Mine" with banjo


1) Julia Mastropaolo | Arts Education Coordinator,
United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
410 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 170 Raleigh, NC 27603
(p) 919.839.1498 ext. 210 (f) 919-839.6002

2) Ava J. Hughes, Arts Education Director
(864) 278-9693
Chapman Cultural Arts Center
200 E. Saint John Street
Spartanburg, SC 29306-5124

3)Shana Adams, Director, Creative Arts in Public & Private Schools/Community (CAPS)
Durham Arts Council, Inc.
Phone: 919.560.2718 I Fax: 919.560.2725 I Web:

Recent letters of recommendation for Charles Pettee's programs


Cancellation Policy

Artist will make every effort to reschedule program if necessary. If it is impossible to reschedule, and the program must be cancelled, 50% of fee is due, if the program is cancelled more than 60 days before the date of engagement. If cancelled within 60 days of the date of engagement, 100% of the fee is due. Cancellation fees are due no later than the originally scheduled date of engagement.