The notion of music aimed at young people that is both engaging and pedagogically meaningful is not new. There are lots of great kid's songs out there, and many of them, in addition to being entertaining, are also meaningful. But Matt Baron's project is different. He's not just making music for children - he's bringing together his experience as a public school teacher with his aptitude for songwriting to make curriculum-based rock music that is as appealing to adults as it is educational to children. Each song adheres to Common Core research-based educational standards (i.e., standardized guideposts that teachers nationwide use to develop their lessons). In addition to the music, Matt has developed lesson plans that include differentiated spelling worksheets and tiered, higher order thinking follow-up activities that can be used to facilitate anything from a mini-lesson to a catalyst for a project-based unit. The music and educational materials can be used to supplement one's current curriculum and also to explore new themes. These songs are not vague stabs at "what might work" - each song is at once a language lesson, a musical journey, and a reflection on daily life that can resonate with both children and adults. Each song has been rigorously vetted by 30 to 60 of the most important critics a song could have: classrooms of six and seven year-olds for whom English is often a second language. These songs were written to coincide with lessons in a first grade classroom with native-language English speakers and English-language learners. However, children of all ages and learning levels can relate to the songs. This is because Matt's work, first and foremost, is engaging. The songs are written in the first person. They don't pander to children. Matt says, "When listening to the songs, the children have told me that they can imagine themselves in the songs, and they create their own narratives based on what the songs are." Gene Booth & Emma Hoselhorn January 2012 - Chicago, IL.