Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Maestro Classics

I had the privilege of reviewing Peter and the Wolf, by Maestro Classics. For this review I received a physical CD along with a study guide. The London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Simon, and narrated by Yadu, brings a truly unique classical experience to the story of Peter and the Wolf.  

What happens when you combine classical music and great stories? You will find out when you experience Maestro Classics. Each CD/MP3 set includes:
  • classical music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • an enchanting story
  • descriptions of the music, composer, story, and more
  • an activity booklet
  • downloadable curriculum
 What better way to introduce classical music to children than to share the stories behind the compositions. 

The story of Peter and the Wolf is about a young boy named Peter who lives with his grandfather. One day Peter leaves the garden gate open and the duck escapes. The duck decides to take a swim in the nearby pond. The duck starts squabbling with the bird. Meanwhile, the cat is quietly eyeing the duck and the bird. Peter is found by his grandfather and is scolded for leaving the safety of his grandfathers gate. His grandfather has warned Peter about sly and hungry wolves lurking in the meadow. Suddenly, a wolf comes creeping along. The cat sees the wolf and runs up a tree. The bird is already safe in a tree, but the duck, who is now in the middle of the pond, is not so safe. The wolf begins chasing after the duck and eventually is captured and eaten by the wolf. Peter devises a clever plan to captures the wolf with the help of the bird. Oh, and we cannot forget the hunters who have been busy hunting the wolf. Thus the tale continues.....

The Introduction section of the CD gives a brief synopsis of the story of Peter and the Wolf, and introduces the characters and the instruments that represent them. Track 2 on the CD tell the story of Peter and the Wolf through narration and music. Track 3 gives a fascinating background of the composer, Prokofiev. Track 4 contains the upbeat version of the Russian Peter. Track 5 begins with the conductor, Stephen Simon explaining the music of Peter and the Wolf while actually giving a great lesson in music theory. Track 6 is the instrumental only version of Peter and the Wolf. Track 7 is an invitation to grandfather's party. Finally, Track 8 is instrument only, Kalinda. In all the CD is 68:16 minutes in length. 

Peter is represented by the violin.

The bird is represented by the flute.

The duck is represented by the oboe.

The cat is represented by the clarinet.

Grandfather is represented by the bassoon.

The huntsmen are represented by the french horn.

Guns are represented by the drums.

My 12, 9, and 7 year old daughters and I listened to this CD. Classical music is not the typical genre of music that my children listen to. I was not sure what my children would think of Maestro Classics. Well, my children LOVED it!!! They sat captivated throughout the whole recording. I often stopped the CD to answer questions that my children had. My children were not familiar with what all of the instruments looked like. We spent time looking the instruments up and talking about why each individual instrument fit the character it represented. 

The 24 page activity booklet the accompanies the CD has activities, music, information on instruments, and information on the composer. Maestro Classics also offers a free downloadable PFD curriculum guide with amazing lesson plans that integrate music into your students academic subjects. The curriculum guide has links to other sites on the internet to guide you and your student in the activities. My children and I really enjoyed these extra activities that tied into their core academic subjects. The experience was enriching. 

Final Thoughts
I absolutely loved  Maestro Classics, Peter and the Wolf. I would highly recommend this CD to homeschoolers, educators, and friends. My children greatly enjoyed the experience and are eager to have me purchase more CD's from Maestro Classics collection. 

To read more reviews click HERE.

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