Maestro Classics is a company devoted to combining classic children’s stories with classical music to provide a unique and quality educational experience, as well as being delightfully entertaining. Their Stories in Music series includes seven different story cd’s (sold separately) with educational activity booklets designed to help your young musician learn about instruments, what they sound like, how and what to listen for, composers, and other forms of music appreciation. The cd’s are much more than just stories read with music in the background, though. Each cd contains several tracks in addition to the story/music combo that feature many different aspects of music appreciation complimented by the accompanying booklet. What a great way to experience the power and richness of one’s of God’s greatest gifts to us! Music was indeed meant to be explored and enjoyed by everyone!
For review, we were blessed with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, remastered and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Stephen Simon, conductor and Yadu narrator. This legendary story using orchestra instruments to portray the characters in the story was the inspiration for the Stories in Music series.
Peter and the Wolf contains 8 tracks for a total of 68:11 minutes of musical discovery and entertainment.
1. Introduction by Yadu, the narrator
2.Peter and the Wolf for Narrator and Symphony Orchestra
3. About the Composer- Prokofiev by Bonnie Ward Simon
4. A Russian Peter by Trio Voronezh
5. About the Music by Stephen Simon, conductor
6. Peter and the Wolf Instrumental Version
7. Invitation to Grandfather’s Party by Bonnie Ward Simon
8. Kalinka Dance Along by Trio Voronezh
Cost is $16.98 and can be purchased here.
Gunn Ranch Academy thoughts and experiences:
First of all, I feel inclined to say that we absolutely LOVE this company and their products. I am really beyond words to describe their brilliant contribution to music education as well as their delightfully entertaining way of bringing joy and inspiration into our children’s world through these amazing recordings.
I wasn’t at all sure how my four year Levi would react to this. Lately I haven’t been able to second guess anything that would draw his attention and slow him down long enough to listen more than a minute before he’s off and running again. After reviewing Tortoise and the Hare from this company last year, my girls and I were already familiar with the format of story and music, as well as the “extras” that are included. But I never could get Levi to even stay in the same room long enough last year to give it a chance. But he has certainly grown to appreciate and love any form of music in his current season of learning. So I thought just maybe Peter and the Wolf might snag his attention.
The picture on the cover of Peter in a tree with a rope trying to catch the wolf on the ground certainly caught his attention. I seized the moment and popped the cd into the computer to play. As it began, I pulled out the booklet and began looking through it. I noticed Levi seemed to be listening from the very first note!
As we were listening, he began looking through the pictures in the booklet, and I clicked over to the Maestro Classics website where I noticed Program Book Answers after clicking on the Maestro Club. When I scrolled down to the Match the Instruments section, Levi was thrilled to see the instruments with lines drawn to the characters. Being a visual learner (aka, BOY), this really brought home which instruments represented which character. As the instruments played, we pointed out on the computer screen which character it represented, just as we pointed to the instrument that would play with each character that talked. It was just a delightful and magical way to connect with my little guy! After the story, he became very excited and asked if we could get my flute out and he could try playing it. I haven’t played the flute in years because it needs to be re-padded, but I agreed and we had a fabulous time of discovery with my flute! We discussed the many symphony instruments, their sounds, and which ones we all might enjoy playing. I told them I had learned to play the oboe and saxophone as well as the flute. My girls are currently learning violin, and the small one has been passed down to Levi to “fiddle” with. 🙂
The next morning he asked if we could please listen to Peter and the Wolf when we arrived home that evening! First thing after arriving home he ran in to his Daddy who was on the computer asking if he would please put it in to play. So he and Daddy listened, with Levi explaining and describing the characters and instruments to Daddy.
This morning while looking at the Peter and the Wolf product page, I discovered sheet music! I printed the sheet music for solo treble instrument (violin, flute, etc.) and piano, flute violin part. I can’t wait to start working on this on piano with my girls on violin or even trying the sheet music for three hands. What an awesome resource!
Wow! I just can’t say enough about the many different aspects of learning, bonding, and enjoyment this has brought into our family. With the love and passion for music each member of our family has, the vivid imaginations we have to engage, and the opportunity to educate these children before us, Maestro Classics has worked brilliantly to bring a rich and rewarding way to share and discover God’s gift of music. I just have to extend a heartfelt thank you to them for bringing this into our world!!
This cd has continued to play over and over almost daily. I am just overwhelmed and thankful that Levi has plugged into this new discovery. He has been fascinated with music for sometime strumming his guitar, making up songs, playing his keyboard, trying to make music with the bow on the little violin, exploring our box of musical instruments, singing in church. My awesome Mother nurtured a love of music and particularly the symphony in me as well as my girls. She took them to the symphony many, many times when we lived closer to her. Music is such a phenomenal part of our world, and I’m thrilled to see all of my children enjoying it. I will be placing an order for two of the other cd’s that Levi has requested.
I received this cd as a part of the TOS Homeschool Crew for review purposes. No other compensation was received, and opinions are my own.