Friday, December 18, 2009

Maestro Classics: Stories in Music

One of my favorite parts of music class each year was the day we got to listen to Peter and the Wolf on record, or watch the cartoon version of it.  I love that musical story, and never grew tired of it.  Maestro Classics has continued to develop that art form of the musical story.  Stephen Simon and Bonnie Ward Simon have created 8 Stories In Music CDs, including some with original music:

  • Tortoise And The Hare

  • Peter and the Wolf

  • The Story of Swan Lake

  • The Sorcerer's Apprentice

  • Casey at the Bat

  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

  • Juanita the Spanish Lobster

  • Juanita la longosta espanola

We received The Tortoise And The Hare, which was recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The music was composed and conducted by Stephen Simon, the story was adapted by Bonnie Ward Simon, and it was narrated by Yadu.   The CD came with an educational booklet that included information about music, instruments, sheet music, background information, and three puzzles.

The CD itself contains 7 tracks:

  • musical version of The Tortoise and the Hare

  • information about the story

  • a fun song, "Pretzel Vendor of Paris"

  • information about the music

  • the story of The Tortoise and the Hare repeated (now that you know a little more)

  • prepare to perform

  • accompaniment track for sing-along

We listened to The Tortoise and The Hare in the car one weekend.  I thought the story was a charming and witty adaptation of the classic Aesop's fable -- a fun way to add music appreciation into our homeschool.   The children all listened, and seemed to be enjoying it.  When I asked them their opinion later, the 8 year old said it was "okay" and he "sort of liked it".  But then he did tell me how he liked the Pretzel Vendor of Paris song, and a few other things.   My 3  year old enjoyed the story portion, although she was too young to understand the music education portions.  My 14 year old daughter enjoyed learning how the composer created the music for the story.  But, this is not something they'll be begging to listen to on future car trips.

This particular story was a little young for most of my children, but I enjoyed the CD and would like to hear more of the Maestro Classics CDs.  I think they'd enjoy some of the other stories more.  My sons would like Casey at the Bat or Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and my daughters would probably enjoy The Story of Swan Lake.  

Maestro Classics CDs retail for $16.98, or you can purchase a 3-CD set for $45.00.  A few of the CDs also come with story books in a gift set for $24.99. 

This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.  Click the TOS Homeschool Crew banner at the top to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,

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