Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Teaching Love For Music - Peter and the Wolf by Maestro Classics


I remember listening to Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" with my mom when I was small.  I don't recall if it was narrated or if mom told me the story while it was playing.  All I know is that it was the beginning of a lifetime of music appreciation.  Maestro Classics goes far beyond the basics of listening to and enjoying music by using simple exercises to reinforce musical abilities and train the ear, such as identifying instruments, recognizing themes and telling the composer's own story.  The piece is also performed in several different styles.
My son and I enjoyed listening to Peter and the Wolf, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra with Stephen Simon conducting and Yadu narrating.  After the first session, my second grader plunged into the accompanying workbook with vigor, enjoying the colorful illustrations and completing the puzzles as he listened to the story again.  I perused the program myself, to read more about Prokofiev, the Trio Voronezh (a Russian folk group who plays a version of Peter and the Wolf on the CD) and traditional Russian folk instruments. 

Stephen and Bonnie Ward Simon, who produced and conducted the story, also created a "Stories in Music" concert series for children and parents at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.  Many of these concerts are now available along with Peter and the Wolf  at Maestro Classics.  All the "Stories in Music" CD's are designed to be enjoyed by parents and children of all ages together.  If you feel challenged by the very thought of teaching music appreciation, Peter and the Wolf will make it feel like child's play.  In addition to the music and story, each CD has a story about the composer, what to listen for in the music and a fun participation track, like a sing along or dance along. 

Other Stories in Music titles include Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, Casey at the Bat and Swan Lake, as well as several others.  A superb tool for music appreciation, the Stories in Music are only $16.98 each for CD and program/workbook; Casey at the Bat and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel are also offered with a large program or as gift sets and have lesson plans available on the website.

As a lover of great music, I highly recommend this series to develop a well rounded appreciation of music in your student, as well as spend some great old fashioned family time together, listening, learning about and having fun with music.

See what other Homeschool Crew members are saying about Maestro Classics.

We recieved one copy of Peter and the Wolf with accompanying program from Maestro Classics for review purposes.  No other compensation was recieved for this review.


Laurie said...

We love these CD's! Enjoying looking around your blog...nominated you for the stylish blogger award!

mrsd said...

Wow, thanks. I don't think I've been accused of being stylish for a long time;)

Maestro Classics said...

Hi Robyn!

It's great to read about how much you two enjoyed all the activities in our CD - thanks so much for this nice review!

I'm writing this belated comment to let you know that in the months since your review we've been busy setting up a Facebook page so that we can more easily get in contact with our customers, as well as host a monthly CD giveaway. (We have one going right now for Peter and the Wolf, as a matter of fact, ending on 6/13/2011) but we intend to have more giveaways in the future and grow our FB page in general, so we'd love it if you took a peek.

If you have a business page, feel free to post on our wall and we'd love to become a fan of it.

Thanks! Ruth, social media coordinator at Maestro Classics