Whether you enjoy listening to stories on CD at home or in the car or you simply want to expose your kids to the orchestra and would enjoy having that exposure blended with classic children’s stories, you’ll love the little gem I recently discovered.
Maestro Classics combine the professional, quality music of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stephen Simon, with award-winning children’s stories cleverly adapted by Bonnie Ward Simon and delightfully narrated by Yadu.
You’ll find such favorites as The Tortoise and the Hare (which I was sent for review), Peter and the Wolf, The Story of Swan Lake, and one I would love to own because it’s a family favorite, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.
Each Maestro Classics set comes with CD, story/activity booklet and bonus tracks. Assuming that they’re all set up similar to The Tortoise and the Hare, the first track is the story. If you’ve ever heard Peter and the Wolf, this is a similar set-up in which the various characters have their own musical representation, with the various activities shown by the sounds of the orchestra.
After listening to the enchantingly narrated story, Ms. Simon, who wrote the adaptation, tells listeners a bit more about the original story. Then, Stephen Simon, the composer, explains more about the music and its composition.
He explains how and why he chose the different scores and instruments to represent the various characters or scenes in the story and a bit more about the instruments and their sound. After the explanation, the listener is invited to listen to the story again, this time paying close attention to the music.
In addition, there are fun bonus tracks that will have you and your kids singing along — which is easy because the words are printed right in the story/activity booklet.
Each Maestro Classics CD set is $16.98 or you can purchase three sets for $45. You can visit Maestro Classics to view the entire line of CDs or to listen to samples.
I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it. I received no other compensation for this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions. Your experience may vary.
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.