There are currently 7 CD's available in English, 1 in Spanish, and 2 more are coming soon. The beautiful music is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Our family enjoyed reviewing and listening to the story of Swan Lake. I think accompanying a story with classical music is a great way to stimulate and engage a child's mind in a way that simple storytelling cannot. When I first began to play the CD for my children, they were a little bit turned off by it because they were not used to listening to classical music (shame on me!) but eventually they liked it.
For those of us that aren't used to listening to classical music on a regular basis, CD's like this are a great way to incorporate it into our listening diet.
Apparently I'm not the only one that thinks this is a good idea. Swan Lake was even featured in one of my favorite magazines, Family Fun: "Want to pepper your child's playlist with some classical music? The Story of Swan Lake is a great place to start." - Family Fun
If you're like I was and are not familiar with the story of Swan Lake, here's a little background on it:
"The Story of Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky’s greatest ballet score, is the tale of a prince who falls in love with a beautiful princess. The princess, however, has been turned into a swan by an evil magician, and only the prince’s love can break the spell. This narrated version of the classic tale for children is sure to delight all who love ballet and enchanting storytelling."
Including in your purchase of the CD is "a 24-page activity book included with the CD contains a biography of Tchaikovsky, information on acoustic and electric guitars, sheet music and words for a sing-along song, explanation of major and minor keys, puzzles and more. MP3 download from Maestro Classics website includes a PDF of the activity booklet." (source)
I should mention that there was a "modern" track (Speed Metal Swan) included on the CD that I did not care for. Honestly, I was shocked by it and thought there must have been some mistake as to how it could have been included on our CD. After looking on the website though, I read that this is what is included on the CD's:
- Life and times of the composer and author
- Different musical genres – rock, folk, Dixieland, etc.
- Conductor talking about the music
- Original work with or without narration
- Sing-along/play-along/dance-along karaoke track (source)
Maestro Classics includes a lot of resources on their site. It is definitely worth checking out! Besides their Kids Club, they also include free homeschool curriculum for all of their CD's . They have done a good job incorporating many subjects into the theme of each CD. You can find these links here.
After browsing their site, be sure to check out their Facebook Page, too. Once you "Like" them you can get coupons and be entered into giveaways. Maestro Classics is also on Twitter if you'd like to follow them there.
I hope you found this review helpful. Please stop by here to see what my fellow TOS crewmates think about Maestro Classics.
**Disclosure: This post was written as part of my reviews for TOS. I was given a free copy of Swan Lake in exchange for a candid review.