Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TOS Crew Review : Maestro Classics

This year our curriculum has us studying the classic composer Tchaikovsky. We studied The Nutcracker in the month of December and we're ready to move on to another one of Tchaikovsky's pieces when we were given the opportunity to review Maestro Classics - The Story of Swan Lake. My kids love classical music and we have enjoyed studying Tchaikovsky. We have been blessed, in the past, with the opportunity of seeing the ballet "Swan Lake" performed by the Atlanta Ballet.

The CD we received from Maestro Classics begins with the telling of the story of Swan Lake set to the beautiful music performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In no time my girls were up dancing to each piece, while my son enjoyed pretending he was the conductor.

From the Maestro Classics website:

Our Mission: To cultivate a love of music through education and joyful performances.
Stories in Music™ is the award-winning audio CD series for family listening. These recordings for narrator and symphony orchestra introduce great music and classics stories and provide the opportunity to develop important listening skills.
Three Major Benefits:
Expand listening horizons.
Our goals are to expand musical horizons, develop listening skills, and encourage parents and children to listen to music together. Listening to the complex patterns of classical music has been shown to stimulate brain development. This series makes it fun!
Develop listening skills and accumulate musical memories.
These CDs highlight Stephen Simon’s unique ability to explain how to listen to music. His joyful music-making, his interest in a broad range of musical styles, and his compositional skills provide entertaining and educational middle tracks. Bonnie Ward Simon weaves background information on the composer, the work and its place in history, both on the CDs and in the program book.
Encourage adults and children to listen to music together.
Listening is becoming a lost art. We encourage you to take the time to develop this crucial skill and delight in a world of wonderful music.
What I loved about Maestro Classics is that it is so much more than just listening to classical music. This is what was included on our CD, along with a 24 page booklet - with discussion topics and fun activities.

1. The Story of Swan Lake
The story is set to the most famous music from this great ballet.

2. Tchaikovsky's Life
Learn about the life of Tchaikovsky, the most loved of all Russian composers.

3. Speed Metal Swan
World-famous guitarist Joe Stump transforms Tchaikovsky’s theme.

4. About the Music
Discover about the different popular dance music that the composer included.

5. "Tchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet"
A funny song to help remember the theme.

6. Want to Have Some Fun? Prepare to Perform.
Time to get ready and sing.
7. "Tchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet" Sing-Along
A string quartet will accompany you.
And, after we had listened to the CD several times {and my girls had danced the ballet more times than I could count} I headed over to the Maestro Classics website and found many links to additional activities we could do which went along with our study. Today, the girls drew and then painted an excerpt from Degas' "Ballerina" painting, while listening to the "Swan Lake" ballet.

You can purchase Maestro Classics - The Story of Swan Lake directly from their website for $16.98 or as an mp3 download for $9.98. Also, head to their website to listen to excerpts from all of their CD's. Other titles include Peter and the Wolf, The Soldier's Tale, My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music, The Tortoise and the Hare, Casey at the Bat, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Juanita the Spanish Lobster, and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.

Would you like to read what my fellow crew mates thought of Maestro Classics? Then head on over to the TOS Crew Blog.

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I am reviewing this product on behalf of the TOS Crew. I received no compensation, other than a free copy of Maestro Classics - The Story of Swan Lake, for the writing of this review. The contents of this review express my personal opinion of the app.


Our Homeschool Reviews said...

I didn't end up reviewing this one b/c I bought it after reviewing Peter and the Wolf last year. I love these CDs.

North Laurel said...

Nice review. Love the inclusion of photos- especially the action shots!

Marie said...

Great job with the review! You have an awesome looking home and sweet family. We did Peter & the Wolf last year and LOVED it!

Wendy said...

I love Maestro Classics too! I also really enjoyed your post and your great photos!

Giggly Girls said...

We loved it too!!