About this project
Alphabet Rockers entertains families with nostalgic beats and kid-friendly, educational messages. It's a combination that gets even non-parents into it—hip hop... for kids!
It has always been our goal to create high-quality, hip hop musical entertainment for families that enrich learning and connection. We rap about shapes. We beatbox letters. We do the robot while singing about nutrition. We go into schools, community centers, and even teacher conferences - and get everyone age two to a million-and-two moving, laughing, singing and learning together. It's unbelievably fun - and we love what we do! Yet still, at every show and engagement, someone would say... "I can see you on TV."
We agreed. We knew our concept would work great in video. So in 2011 we started writing concepts for a TV and web series, and showcased our style and personality in the music video, "Shape Rap."
Shape Rap was just the beginning. Over the next year we wrote more songs, stories, concepts and material, and performed them in every kind of venue and tour you could imagine, from libraries to festivals to companies like Yahoo! and Eventbrite.
Shows cannot always reach every family and community, and many schools cannot afford a school assembly. We realized we needed to take Alphabet Rockers to TV and web videos, and bring our educational entertainment model for children age 2-7 into every home. But we were stuck on funding - we would need broad support from our educational, family and hip hop communities around the country and world to make it come to life.
Why we are kickin' it with kickstarter: TV.
We want to compile the things we love into a show: hip hop, movement, beatboxing, singing, friendship and learning.
When funded, we will produce a DVD and web series featuring music videos, skits and storylines with positive messages, with literacy, math and learning that will get every child ready to be successful in school. We will produce interactive how-to videos for families and teachers that you can watch with the kids, learning our hip hop dance moves and having a workout and fitness challenge while you learn. We will feature beatboxing, hip hop style and expression, and our authentic characters that reflect the diverse experience of family we share as a community today. At the end of production, we will produce a high-quality DVD and web series that allows TV studios to see how we are comparable to our friends at Yo Gabba Gabba and Choo Choo Soul.
Who are the Alphabet Rockers?
On the CDs and website, you'll meet the performers, Kaitlin McGaw, Tommy Shepherd, and Stefanie Liang. Kaitlin started the Alphabet Rockers after graduating from Harvard and moving to San Francisco and working at a music school. Inspired by writing educational hip hop songs, she recruited childhood friend Stefanie for her amazing beatboxing and gorgeous voice, and together they scouted Bay Area beatbox legend Tommy to create the performance group.
Behind the scenes, they work with Educational Advisor Maria Freda, who sculpts the stories, lyrics and activities to be developmentally appropriate and accessible for multiple learning abilities. Together, this rockstar team has accomplished great things—all without the support of a record label. These include:
- Parents' Choice Awards for 2012 releases Go! and Back to School: The Remix.
- Features in KQED EdSpace, Entertainment Weekly, TimeOut Kids NY, San Francisco Chronicle Boston Globe
- Teacher trainers for pre-K to 1st grade teachers on integrating movement, music and hip hop into curriculum
- Recipient of Eventbrite Performing Arts Grant, offering first ever Family Hip Hop Music Festival on June 16 in Oakland
- Creators of the Alphabet Rockers iPhone app [SAY WHAT?!] with scaffolded learning of coins and shapes.
- Created a Bullying Prevention Show, Nutrition Show, and various Hip Hop Music Classes
And, like we said - this is FUN. We love what we do. While producing all of these great products, we worked steadily for six months with a theatrical director and choreographer to sculpt the high-quality, high-energy entertainment that we feel families deserve to see in our TV show. Now... we are ready for "action!"
But wait - there's more!
That's right. It's time to talk perks. We want to share the #alphabetrockers love with you far and wide for your support of our dream! Check out all of the perks listed to the right, and know that there are a few hidden high-5's amongst the list:
- Any backer will get a tweet thank you from @alphabetrockers
- $5 - Virtual High 5
- $25+ get hip hop coloring pages
- $50+ get above plus Facebook shout-outs + Go! & Back to School CDs
- $75+ get above plus DVD upon completion
- $150+ get above plus photo thank you
- $250+ get above plus video greeting thank you
- $750+ get above plus credit in DVD
- $1000+ become rockers family 4-eva
P.S. Our stretch goal is $40,000. This will secure funding to record the next album!
Risks and challenges
Over the last five years, we've written and performed musical ideas that became the foundation for our TV show concept. We even pitched our concept to a major network. The risk of the "TV Show" goal is that we may not get a placement with a major studio in our first year of web series production. However, this is a risk we are proud to take! Together with your help, we will create high-quality, fun, engaging family TV content and make it both available on DVD and as a web series - so our goal to bring Alphabet Rockers to every home will still be feasible.
Another challenge is the timing with productions. We want to work with the best producers and editors for our content, and we will not be able to book them until funding is complete. Therefore, while we will have some immediate videos in production, others may take a few months to book, produce and edit.
All of the rewards will be fulfilled upon completion of funding. We know many people may want to schedule our beatboxing lessons, shows, and school performances- we will fulfill these in June, August, and throughout the fall as fits your schedules.
We truly believe in our vision and in the power of community to make it come to life.
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