"Charles Pettee had such an impact on several Chatham County fourth grade history classes when he performed his "Hear The Sound" program, that when the children were asked at the end of last year's classes what they most remembered, students said Pettee's musical demonstration...Music caused them to remember history. That is what we're aiming for."
-- Beverly Perdue, North Carolina Lt. Governor, Chatham Record News

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Watch video from live school program at Bath Elementary, NC!


Bring all ears to Charles Pettee! This multi-talented musician employs banjo, harmonica, guitar, mandolin, voice and a variety of hats which introduces you to the wonderful tapestry of sounds that make up the music of the Carolinas: music of the Pilgrims, native Americans, African-Americans , Piedmont Blues, Gospel and Bluegrass. There is never a dull moment as Mr. Pettee switches songs or hats, encouraging rhythmic clapping and spontaneous discussion throughout the show.

Preschool program:
Employing banjo, harmonica, guitar, mandolin, voice, and a variety of hats, Mr. Pettee introduces kids and teachers alike to the wonderful tapestry of sounds that make up the music of the Carolinas, including the music of the Pilgrims, native Americans, African-Americans, Piedmont Blues, Gospel and Bluegrass.

K-2 program: Kids and teachers have a great time singing call-response songs, clapping in rhythm, and laughing whenever they want to in this action-packed show that shares the instruments and melodies of southern string music from the Pilgrims to the present.

Grades 3-5 program: In addition to clapping and singing, and accented by a changing backdrop of over 50 slides depicting southern land forms and historical figures, the songs reflect the life and times of the Pilgrims, the Colonials, the slaves, the freedmen, the farmers, and workers who all contributed to the settling of the South.

Grades 6-8 program: The Music of the 1800's - Complementing social studies courses in both world and US history, this program asks the question, "What on earth were people listening to before there was rock, rap, or jazz?" The answers bring out songs and styles that shed light on this nation of immigrants from the early 1800's through the Civil War.

Grades 8-12 program: The Music of the Civil War Era - For students of US history, this program brings the issues and struggles of the pre-Civil War and Civil War periods to life. With a fascinating survey of the music of European-based folk songs, African slave music, American minstrel show tunes, and a sampling of the music of the Civil War, Mr. Pettee convincingly demonstrates that the musical similarities outweigh the differences between the warring factions. In this way, he convincingly demonstrates that this was one nation at war with itself.

Three-day residency: The String Music of the Southern US - Collisions and Combinations. In this fun and interactive series, adjusted for each of grades 3-8, Charles Pettee uses a variety of instruments to bring to life the history of southern string music brought from places as far flung as Ireland, Germany, Spain, and West Africa. The folk, classical, dance, sacred, and popular music of these cultures have collided at times, and combined at other times to make new sounds in American music. Up to four one-hour sessions per day for classes of up to 45 students.

Note: Group size for any of the programs may be from 10 to 400. Artist travels with complete sound system. Programs may be mixed and matched for residency packages.

Interested in booking Hear The Sound? Email us!

Teacher Information Sheets in .pdf format:

        Connections with North Carolina Essential Standards 

        View Instructional Plan for Charles' 5 Day Residency Program for Fourth Grade

        Read what one music teacher had to say about Charles Pettee's 5 day residency "Digging for the Roots of Bluegrass"

        View Instructional Plan for Charles' 4 Day Residency Program for Second Grade

        Pre-K thru Grade 2

        Grades 3 thru 5

        Grades 6 and above - “Southern Bluegrass & Blues – Then & Now” (6-12)

Contact Charles