I always love that music and learning go hand in hand. All of our children love music and learn a lot through it! I was really excited to be introduced to Maestro Classics and have the opportunity to review Peter and the Wolf.
Maestro Classics offers something unique that I’ve never quite seen before. They offer a variety of stories for kids that are told through narration in combination with classical music. They offer a variety of CDs and downloadable MP3s with Activity Books.
The Maestro Classics stories are told by an award-winning narrator known as Yadu, and the music is performed by The London Philharmonic Orchestra. I have to say, I was really impressed by the fact that they have over 50 national awards and use amazing talent to compose their stories in music.
For our Maestro Classics Review we received the Peter and the Wolf CD which included a study guide with a variety of activities and information that complement the CD.
The total playing time of the CD is around 68 minutes. We are often in the car, so we have been listening to it while in the car. We finished the whole CD in just one drive, but the kids really enjoy it, so we have listened to it a few times. Our kids are ages 9, 7 and 5, and they all have been enjoying Peter and the Wolf.
The CD contains 8 total tracks. The longest track is, of course, the story of Peter and Wolf, which is about 25 minutes long. Additionally, there is an instrumental only version, which I think is very unique, and it is about 21 minutes long. What I love about this is that it’s the music only without the narration, but once you hear the narration you can almost play the story in your head while you listen to the music. The kids even pointed out where certain aspects of the story were!
As a homeschool mom I also definitely appreciate that it includes educational tracks as well. We learned about the Composer, Sergei Prokofiev, about the music, and received an introduction that included an introduction to the instruments, stories and characters to get us started.
Plus, there are three additional tracks that added fun elements like “A Russian Peter” which included some of the songs played by Russian Folk Instruments as well as songs that just encourage the kids to dance along. Dancing in the car is definitely not impossible, but these little songs really are a lot of fun, so we did listen to the CD in the house as well so the kids could dance along with the music, which they love!
The included study guide includes 21 pages of activities as well as a page of more information about the Conductor, Narrator and Creative Director who is featured in the video above. The activities really complement the CD. In the first activity the kids were asked to match the instrument to the characters. Each character was represented by a different instrument which was explained to us, so this was a great activity to encourage the kids to listen to the details!
Because we have three children, I split the activities up, which worked out nicely because there were activities that are good for various age ranges. For example, the dot-to-dot was great for our 5 year old, the Crack the Code was great for our 9 year old who is a delayed reader, and fill in the blank activities were perfect for our 7 year old. The Word Search was a great activity for the kids to do together!
Additionally, we were learning more about the Composer and the Trio Voronezh and their instruments. I read this information to the kids and encouraged their thoughts and questions.
There was also an opportunity to learn more about music itself! In the center of the study guide there is the music for Peter’s Tune. It is a single note Treble Clef tune so it could be played on the piano or any Treble Instrument. There is even a musical question at the end of the study guide where you fill in the words based on the letters of the notes! I thought this was a really cute activity!
For families that want to dig deeper into learning with music, Maestro Classics also offers amazing Free Curriculum Guides that include a variety of subjects like History, Science, Geography, Language Arts, Math, Music, Art and more! You can download them by subject or download all subjects at once! We plan to use the Peter and the Wolf Curriculum Guide in the near future.
Overall, we have really enjoyed Peter and the Wolf by Maestro Classics. I love that it encourages learning through music and offers such a variety of educational support materials. It has become a great supplement to our homeschool curriculum, and we can’t wait to dig in even more with the Curriculum Guide!
For more information be sure to connect with Maestro Classics on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.
Members of the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the chance to review titles from Maestro Classics like Peter and the Wolf as well as The Nutcracker with children of various ages. Be sure to check out their reviews by clicking on the banner below!