Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Maestro Classics- A TOS Review


I am so excited. I have about six items on the docket to review and this one is a favorite! Maestro Classics sells classical music CDs for children. These are not your typical 'just music' CDs but rather stories told by music; The Story of Swan Lake, Casey at the Bat, The Tortoise and the Hair and more. We received Peter and the Wolf! A few years ago we had checked out a different version at the library along with a book. I blogged it on a long forgotten 'art' blog I started but you can read it here. I post it so that you will see it is two and a half years since we have listened.

So.... The CD has a variety of tracks. There is an intro, the story with music, the story without music and more interesting stuff. Originally I was going to go get the book, and plan out a lesson and guided activity. Because we received this over Christmas I decided to instead just put on the instrumental track and see where it took us. (FYI: Andrew is hearing impaired and has a cochlear implant. More on that later.) After a few minutes he wondered what the music was. I could tell there was a familiarity with it and I finally told him it was Peter and the Wolf. He didn't remember it right away. Several minutes later the lightbulb went on and he said, "OH!!!! I remember! This is the part where the wolf comes!" When your child who was born deaf hears something specific in music, it is just somethin' special. I recall the discussion many times, will Andrew enjoy music? To be honest, it was the least of my concerns back then. But the fact that he can really liked this is a bonus. This exercise also showed me how processing time is important for him. Just play the music..and see what happens.

We will be using this over the next sevearal months. In our last homeschool co-op we did an activity where the kids had to identify which insturment was playing. Andrew could pick out if it was a 'string' or 'wind' but he thought the harp was a piano and the the trumpet was a flute. I emphasized right then to him how wonderful it was that he was picking up on the differences and I don't want in any way to stress him out. But I think we will get the book from the library or splurge and purchase one. And spend some time just listening and seeing what we can hear. (Funny...seeing what we can hear....)

There are lots of 'extras' for Peter and the Wolf online and you could certainly purchase the CD and make an entire semester of lessons from it. They have lesson plans on their website and there is a ton of extra material elsewhere on the Internet. Here is just one page of pdf curriculum guides I found. If you want some extra links, please feel free to email me or leave a comment! I would love to hear what others, especially those with hearing impaired kids, do with something like this. OH! I almost forgot! There is a booklet that does come along with the CD that has a few activities. It isn't huge (it is the the size of the CD case) but it does provide a guide. Some folks who are reviewing this right now love it so much that they want to order extra guides for each of their students/children.

The CDs sell for $16.98 each and there are package deals if you buy three (different CDs) at a time. I will most likely be purchasing one of the other items over the next few month. You can also listen to samples on their website. You can read what other crew members have written by clicking on the banner below.

I received this CD for review purposes and am not obligated to give positive review.


andrea said...

Maestro Classic is good for the children even though they have difficulties, and that means they can also do what normal people do and want. Reading and listening stories are good for the children a they can explore their imaginations.

Maestro Classics said...

Hi Amy,

Thanks for the wonderful review of our Peter and the Wolf CD this winter. 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

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