Our Family

Our Family

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

TOS Review: Maestro Classics

When I sat down over the summer and was making plans for the school year, one of the things I knew I wanted to add it that I didn't think I was doing enough of was Music. Teaching Music can be hard to fit in with everything else we have to do in a day, but it is no less important than any of our other subjects. I had not done as good a job as I had originally intended, but our recent review item from Maestro Classics has changed that.

From the website: "Maestro Classics™ is the ambassador of great music for both children and adults, helping them experience the art form in new and exciting ways. " They carry award winning classical music CD's great not only for children but adults of all ages. Each CD is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, narrated by Yadu and conducted by Stephen Simon. Available products are:
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Casey at the Bat
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Story of Swan Lake
Juanita the Spanish Lobster
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Peter and the Wolf

Each CD is $16.98 and includes an activity book or 3 CD's for $45. They also have Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Casey at the Bat available as a gift set including the story book for $24.99.

The activity book has information on the composer, musicians, narrator and executive producer. There were pages on instruments that were used that are not as common. It also has several activities to go along with the music (ours had a crossword, matching, crack the code and mirror writing.)

On the webiste there is a link you can listen to music sample, view awards for each CD, and get answers to activity book activities. There is also a section for Education Materials with articles and lesson plans for Casey at the Bat and Mike Mullligan and His Steam Shovel.


We were very blessed to have the opportunity to review Peter and the Wolf. Peter and the Wolf is a musical story of a boy named Peter who goes into the meadow through the garden gate. Even after his grandfather brings him back and closes the gate, he disobeys his grandfather and goes over the wall in order to try and catch the wolf. With the help of his friends, the cat, the bird, and the duck, Peter will try to catch the wolf and take him to the zoo. There are 8 different tracks on the CD with a total playing time of 68:16.

We listened to the CD for the first time on a cold snowy day. I knew the children would enjoy it, but even I was surprised at how much they enjoyed it. The first time we listened to the introduction where the narrator explains which instrument was which animal, even Lily (1 1/2) was very animated and kept asking, "Who is that?" Anthony (5) was swinging his arms acting like a conductor and Nick and Alex looked over the activity book. Christian was the most surprising to me. He stared wide eyed and listened intently to the music and the story. He has since listened to Peter and the Wolf every day and carries the activity book around with him. He LOVES it! We even have taken it in the van with us to listen to on the way to a doctor's appointment.

One suggestion that I would make is to make it possible to order more than one activity book with each CD so you could have one for each of your children. Since we only had one booklet (and some arguments over who was going to get to do what) I did print an activity sheet and coloring page off of the internet so each of the children would have something to do (except Chelsea who at almost 14 did not want a coloring sheet) while we listened to the music. We also had several discussions about each instrument and looked at pictures so the children would know the difference between the instruments.

A true measure of whether children like something or not comes from whether or not they want to listen to it more than once. All of my children enjoyed this CD and not only wanted to listen to it again, they also have been checking out the website to see which CD they would like to order next. I even got several, "Please mom can't we get another one of these?" We will be ordering another CD from Maestro Classics very soon.

To see what other crew members are saying click here.

I received a complimentary copy of Peter and the Wolf for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review. I received no other compensation.

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