Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: Maestro Classics

I love classical music and enjoy listening to it throughout the day. When I was younger, one of my favorite stories was Peter and the Wolf which provided me with my first taste of this fascinating form of music. This next review product brought back some of those fond childhood memories.

Maestro Classics' "Stories in Music" cd's combines the beauty of the symphony with engaging storytelling. We received a copy of The Tortoise and the Hare for review, which is one of their newest products in a series of 8.

Created by the husband and wife duo Stephen and Bonnie Ward-Simon, Maestro Classics touts itself as "the ambassador of great music for both children and adults, helping them experience the art form in new and exciting ways. Through wondrous new recordings, innovative educational and performance materials, and uplifting live performances, Maestro Classics™ guides audiences as they expand their listening horizons and discover the magic that can only be called music."

The CD was designed for children ages 5+ and features the talented London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stephen Simon, and professional narration by Yadu.

Other titles include:

  • 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

A coordinating 24 page full-color booklet is included in each CD. The "Tortoise & the Hare" review booklet provided the following:

  • Pictures and information about the various orchestral instruments
  • Simple explanation of basic musical terminology such as notes, measures and "beats"
  • The differences between rabbits and hares (which came in handy right away as I had no clue and Ethan of course, asked!), and turtles and tortoises
  • Accompanying music and lyrics to follow along
  • and finally, a few games such as puzzles, word finds and dot-to-dots. (Answers can be found on their website under "Maestro Club")
  • Because the booklets coordinate to each story, the information and activities will vary.

Each CD is available for $16.98 but you can receive a $6 discount when you order 3 for $45. (Enter coupon code MAESTRO45) Their website offers sound clips as well as lesson plans for 2 of their Cd's (Casey at the Bat and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel). The lesson plans are appropriate for grades K-3 and 4-6.

Final Opinion:

I was really impressed by the quality of this CD and the storytelling in general. Yes, it's more than a bit young for my three, but I know if they'd had this when they were younger, they would have absolutely loved it. Also, I know if we'd received the Swan Lake, my budding ballerina daughter Abby would've been all over it! :)

These lively Cd's would make a charming music appreciation supplement for your preschool through 2nd grade student.

To learn more about Maestro Classics, please visit their website by clicking here.

Now, I'm going to award this product with 2 thumbs up even though none of my children actually "enjoyed" it. (But again they're 9 1/2, 11 and 14 years old.) :)

*As part of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I received a free copy of the above CD for review. No additional compensation was received and my opinions are strictly my own.*

1 comment:

Maestro Classics said...

Hi Denise!

This is a belated thanks for the wonderful review of our Tortoise and the Hare CD. I just wanted to let you know that since you reviewed our CD we've made a Facebook page so that our fans can participate in monthly giveaways (we have a big one coming up for the full 8 CD set!) and get coupons. We'd love to invite you and your readers to join our page or check out our new free homeschool music curriculum guides and thanks again for the lovely review!

Maestro Classics


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