Friday, January 13, 2012

Listening to Birds on a Pond - A New TOS Review!!

I was so excited to hear that I would be reviewing another of the wonderful stories at Maestro Classics.  Last year we reviewed Peter and the Wolf and the children still enjoy listening and reenacting the story.  So when I found out we were going to receive The Story of Swan Lake, I knew this one would be loved even more.  The girls are always pretending to be in ballet (which one day I would love to let them go) and they even have a Barbie show about Swan Lake so I knew this one would be a HIT!
The Product:
Maestro Classics has reproduced Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Story of Swan Lake using the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Stephen Simon as the Conductor and Yadu as the Narrator.  If you don't know about the Story of Swan Lake it is the tale of a prince (who has to marry at his 21st birthday) who then falls in love with a beautiful princess.  The only problem is that she has been turned into a swan by an evil magician, which of course can only be broken by the true love of a prince.

Of course, my girls LOVED this story because they are ALL about prince's and princesses and dancing - which is what they did for part of the story.  The cool thing about MaestroClassics CD's is that you not only get the original music and story but there are several other tracks which teach things about the life of the original author of the music, about music in general, and many others.  This CD included:

  • The Story of Swan Lake
  • Tchaikovsky's Life
  • Speed Metal Swan (done by Joe Stump with an Electric Guitar)
  • About the Music
  • "Tchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet" (Vocal Ensemble by Maestro Classics)
  • Want to Have Some Fun? Prepare to Perform
  • "Tchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet" Sing-Along (only the accompainment)

They also include in their cardboard tri-fold CD case a 24 page booklet that includes a few activities (dot-to-dot, crossword puzzle, and a maze), facts about the life of Tchaikovsky, information about the conductor, narrator, and executive producer, as well as information on both an acoustic and electric guitars. And once you order your CD ($16.98) or download an MP3 of the CD ($9.98) you even have access to a FREE online homeschool music curriculum  which covers math, art, history, science, and more! That's pretty cool and you all know I love FREE. ;)  And don't forget that you can check out samples of all their CD's.

Our Experience:
Whenever we have the opportunity to listen to classical music we do.  I have enjoyed classical music for many years and hope that my children grow up with a healthy appreciation of that style of music and the wealth of history that is behind this music.  The girls seemed to really enjoy the music as well as the story (suitable for ages 6-12, especially anyone interested in ballet.)  Even Seanan sat quietly and listened (which for a 2 almost 3 year old is a very hard thing to accomplish.)

The girls listened to the entire one hour CD.  Arianna told me that she enjoyed the story a lot and really liked the calming nature of the first track.  The "Speed Metal Swan" track was not her favorite.  She said it was too rough. ;)  Audrie, on the other hand said she liked the "Speed Metal Swan" a lot!  She said it was like a "rock star playing it.  That was cool!"  ;)  As you can see these 'Stories in Music' (created in the tradition of Peter and the Wolf) can grab the attention of all children some way or another.
We are still working through the "curriculum" that is available for this CD.  You can build a very strong unit study with the links that Maestro Classics has provided on their site.  They even have a Kids Club area on their site where children can earn prizes!

My Thoughts:
Once again, I have been very impressed with the story and production of great classical works.  I also think that the music can reach all ages from birth through 100+ (even though it is designed for 6-12.) You can also buy them in bundles, either all 9 CD's, the Classic Pack, or the Story Pack.

I would definitely recommend Maestro Classics as a well rounded way to learn classical music plus incorporate other subjects and build on the strong roots of classical music. And as always I hope you don't just take my word for it, go ahead and listen to what my crew members thought about  Maestro Classics.  You can also find them on Facebook (where you can find FREE coupons and giveaways when you "like" them) or on Twitter.

*** I am a member of The Old Schoolhouse 2011-2012 Crew and receive free products and services in exchange for a thorough and honest review. Though I am compensated with free products, I am not compensated in the form of money for any of my reviews. My reviews will always reflect my honest opinions, findings, beliefs and experiences with the products and services that I receive.***

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Quick Linker