Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Maestro Classics New TOS Review

Peter and the Wolf CD and Listening Guide            
Maestro Classics

Contact Maestro Music

Maestro Music also has  7 additional titles including one in Spanish.

At you can hear samples from each of their albums.

Each CD is $16.98 or 3 for $45.00 with coupon code on the their homepage

Recommended for ages 5 and up

Maestro Classics has taken classic works of music and literature and made them child friendly. The CD's are classic stories accompanied by music of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  There is also an informative and engaging little booklet which includes puzzles, activities, and background information about the selection. According the the Maestro Classics website the Stories in Music series came about after several years of successful parent child educational concerts at the Kennedy Center.

Maestro Classics encourages families to listen together to learn about and enjoy classic works of music, expand musical horizons, and develop listening skills.

As a member of the TOS Crew I received a CD of Peter and the Wolf to review and share with my children.  The CD features the story of Peter and the Wolf, both a musical and narrative version. There is also a  narrative about the composer and information about the music.  It also explains how the different instruments are used to represent animals in the story and how the instruments sound similar to the animals they represent.   Also included are two pieces by the Russian Trio Voronezh.

The accompanying booklet has 24 pages packed full of supplementary information.  There is a brief biography of Prokofiev, the composer of Peter and the Wolf, and biographies of the Orchestra conductor, narrator, and executive producer of the series.  These bios are written in a manner which is appealing to both children and adults.  There is a story about the  Russian Trio Voronezh;  how they came to be a group as well as information about the uniquely Russian instruments which they play.

However, there is more to this booklet.  There are several games and activities which are geared to many different listener ages.  You will find a dot to dot, a crossword puzzle, and a matching game which features the animals in the story and the instruments which portray them in the orchestra. 

The CD and booklet come together in a sturdy cardstock case with a place for both the CD and the booklet. The illustrations on the case and booklet are charming and very child friendly.  The pictures look like they came from an embroidered sampler.

Also on the website are lesson plans and additional activity ideas for several of the selections.
There are activities for various levels available.

Update:  Since I posted this review Maestro Classics has redone their website.  It is now possible to look inside each CD and Booklet as well as hear music samples.  They also have a kids club page with games and activities. The site also has an educational resources page with many lesson plans, activities, and ideas.  I can't wait to check out the site more thoroughly!

Peter and The Wolf in my Home

When I learned I would be receiving this CD I was kind of nervous because my memories of Peter and The Wolf  are not pleasant.  Sometime when I was between the ages of 7 and 11 I remember seeing a play of Peter and the Wolf and being totally scared.  So I had very mixed feelings about listening to Peter and the Wolf.  I was totally surprised how different this telling of the story is from what I remembered.  It is a very pleasant and soothing recording to listen to, not the least bit scary.  We thoroughly enjoyed what we heard. 

Unfortunately, I was only able to listen to my CD one time and then it would not play again.  However, upon contacting Maestro Classics they promptly offered to replace my copy.  What a generous company and prompt customer service.  I am looking forward to receiving a new copy to enjoy repeatedly.

My 9 year old daughter perused the booklet and was excited about the Russian Trio and their instruments.  She was absolutely amazed at the size of the instruments.  The picture of the Trio with the instruments really helped her appreciate the instruments size.

This is a great set and a wonderful way to share music.  My daughters piano teacher has encouraged her to learn about music composers and their works as a compliment to her studies.  With the Maestro Classics CD and booklet I have a lot of information at my fingertips all in one source.

 Read what other crew members have to say here.


Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this CD and accompanying materials to use for the purpose of writing this review.  I have not been compensated in any other manner and all views expressed here are totally my own.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Martha,

    Thanks for the wonderful review of our Peter and the Wolf CD this winter, and we're happy to hear the second copy we sent you worked well. I just wanted to let you know that since you reviewed our CD we've made a Facebook page so that our fans can participate in monthly giveaways (June was Peter and the Wolf, as a matter of fact) and get coupons. We'd love to invite you and your readers to join our page and thanks again for the lovely review!

    Social Media Coordinator
    Maestro Classics