Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Maestro Classics Review (Schoolhouse Review Crew)

Maestro Classics Review
We love music. My husband and I were raised on music, different kinds mind you but music all the same. My husbands Mom plays the piano and his Dad sings, their preferences a little calmer probably than my parents. My Dad plays the guitar and my Mom used to dance to the Beatles. Quite often we would spend a quiet Sunday afternoon with my Dad playing the guitar. When we finally started busting out the Elvis Presley "Jailhouse Rock' my Mom knew we had got too rowdy for a Sunday afternoon sing along.

I love any chance to introduce music to my children and so when I was offered two music CDs from Maestro Classics it was music to my ears :)

There was quite a few titles to choose from and I wanted to choose something familiar and something new. Luckily I got the two that were my first choice and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. I will tell you about them separately as my kids reactions to each one was different.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel  $16.98 This was a new one for me - although not all of the music was new. Jam and Boo both play the piano and they recognized parts of the pieces as things that they have played.

Maestro Classics Review

We drive one hour each way for piano lessons every other week (I know it seems a long way but we LOVE our piano teacher), it so happened that these Cd's arrived the day before one of our piano days. We normally listen to audio books, so the kids were a little surprised when the music started. The kids loved it, especially Little J, he was SO worried about the steam shovel as the story came to the end. The only negative thing my older kids said was that they found the voice of the little boy whiny and annoying. However the love of the music and story in general more than made up for it and they are very willing to listen to it. It is Little J that plays it over and over... The CD comes with a cute little notebook with a crossword etc, but I really didn't want me kids messing that up so I was impressed when I found about a link to Maestro Classics Educational Materials. This site links to areas where you can find extra information about the history, science, geography, language arts, music, and math related to the musical CD you have. We tried to get the actual book to go with this but our library didn't have it. However I did manage to find someone reading it on You-tube and so Little J loved watching that as it helped him visualize it too. However I am so glad that we listened to it first and it really helped him notice the little details in the music. Because we listened to the CD the first time in the car I had a captive audience and so they didn't mind listening to the whole CD including the educational parts.

The second CD that we were sent is an old favorite of mine.

Maestro Classics Review
The Sorcerer's Apprentice $16.98 I think there are a lot of people familiar with this music because of the infamous mouse that turned it into a movie. If you click on the link for the CD you can actually preview each track. If you don't know the story it's about the Sorcerer's Apprentice that has to help his master by completing the chores, of course like all of us he tries to find an easy way out and thinks he can use his magic to make things easier. We talked a lot about this, how if we try to take the 'easy way out' we quite often make a huge mess and make things worse. There was a huge moral to the story. Little J loved how the music changed to show when things were getting crazy. We have seen this in Disney and so it was easy for him to picture the story, but hard for him to get Mickey Mouse, water fountains, and the witch from Sleeping Beauty out of his head. Despite this we loved this and play it often.

Mike Mulligan had a suggested age of 4+ and The Sorcerer's Apprentice of 6+. I could definitely tell the difference. I think Little J (5) would have found The Sorcerer's Apprentice a little harder to follow than Mike Mulligan just because of the story theme. However because he had been introduced to this music it wasn't a problem.

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We loved these and I will definitely be looking at getting some of the other ones in the future. In fact I am going to check out other reviews so I can decide which I want first. Why don't you join me!

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