Disclaimer: I received this item in exchange for an honest review.
We are huge fans of classical music. Before we had kids, we frequently attended symphonies, recitals and other such cultural events. We didn’t know much about such things though and I stumbled across Maestro Classics several years ago. When the opportunity came to add a few more CD’s to our collection, the girls & I were tickled!
We received 2 CD’s to review from Maestro Classics—My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Maestro Classics CD’s are pieces of music written to tell a story, such as Swan Lake or The Sorcerer’s Apprentice or Peter and the Wolf. The story is narrated with/over the music in the first track and then their are several tracks afterward discussing various things about the piece of music, the history, and more.
Lengths of the CD’s vary widely. My Name is Handel, for instance, is 38 minutes long, while The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is only about 11-1/2. Each CD has a 24 page booklet with extra history and activities included. In addition, each CD has a multi-disclipline music curriculum guide that helps you dovetail the information with your child’s favorite subjects. Science, literature, and history are just a few of the subjects they include links to extra study for. Each subject includes many links & activities and is like a music unit study without all the planning.
Maestro Classic are available on CD for about $17 each or on MP3 for around $10. They are intended for all ages, though the extra activities are primarily aimed at ages 6-12 or so.
Likes & Dislikes
My oldest (6) really enjoys anything to do with people–history, biographies, artist & composer studies and the like. The Handel CD was right up her alley as she learned about Handel and the king on the River Thames. She also likes geography, so that was fun to talk about, too. I loved the discussion about how to know when you are listening to Handel’s Water Music by what is playing and the little song My Name is Handel was catchy. I will always know that music & it’s composer. Being able to identify pieces when I hear them out & about is fun :).
My youngest is very musical but she also gets a bit weird about things that are loud or suddenly get loud which made her not a fan of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice the first time she heard it. She enjoyed it the second time though. I was fascinated with the history of the story behind the poem. I only knew it as part of Fantasia. You will be amazed at how OLD the story is. Truly crazy! The fact that the composer has very little written music left in existence was interesting, too. I foresee a discussion on perfection happening with this CD in the future.
The narrator has a wonderful European accent that makes it fun to listen to. Maestro Classics CD’s remind me of the old tape/record & book combos. I miss those–do you? Maybe they could make a picture book for each CD someday? I would love one for Swan Lake!
Overall, we really enjoyed these CD’s, although I think my husband and I enjoyed them the most! My girls are a little on the younger end of the age for focused study of the materials, but not too young to enjoy good music.
From a use standpoint, these are great for car trips. Hubs & I cannot stand kid music and they can only take so much of our music so these are a good way to bridge that gap. They are also nice background while playing board games. Highly recommend Maestro Classics CD’s — in fact, I think I’m going to add The Tortoise & the Hair and Casey at Bat for our next road trip.
If you use Maestro Classics CD’s, which has been your favorite?
Check out more reviews of Maestro Classic CD’s from the Schoolhouse Review Crew!