When you think of children’s classical music literature what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Peter and the Wolf? The Sorcerer’s Apprentice? Music from Disney’s Fantasia? Well for me, it’s Carnival of the Animals. Even as an elementary music teacher, I loved sharing music from the Carnival of the Animals and having students act out some of the songs as they best-imagined. Thus, I was very excited to learn and try out Maestro Classic’s newest release, The Carnival of the Animals, with my own little ones.
What are Maestro Classics?
Maestro Classics began under the vision of Bonnie Ward Simon to bring classical music to the family. As such, Bonnie, along with her conductor husband, Stephen Simon, came up with the idea of creating a series of recordings known as Stories in Music. These Stories in Music, or Maestro Classics, are quality recordings that have won over 45 national awards and have truly brought classical music to the home in a fresh and exciting way. As another of my blogging friends once shared, it’s “music study made easy” which is perfect for the homeschooler or music lover alike.
What is Included in a Maestro Classics CD?
- An audio recording of the music, narrated by Yadu, who has an deep but inviting voice
- Information about the composer both in the booklet and read on the CD by Bonnie Ward Simon
- More information about the music by Stephen Simon
- An instrumental only version of the music
- And an opportunity to sing or perform on of the pieces from the CD
If you homeschool, Maestro Classics also provides online curriculum guides to each of their recordings by subject. While not yet available for the Carnival of the Animals, most guides have more than enough information to keep a family busy for several weeks with one CD. For instance, listeners might be able to download a map of the composer’s travels, learn more about the culture in which the composer lived, do a science experiment on sound vibration, re-write the story in their own words, or learn about a painter who drew pictures under the inspiration of the music on the CD.
Carnival of the Animals was a very fun listen. My daughters, especially Peanut, enjoyed initially listening to the pieces and poems while on our long family vacation and then later as inspiration for dancing in our living room.
As a music teacher, I was immediately drawn in by the quality of the recording performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. It was also very educational as I learned more about Camille Saint-Saens (the composer) in 5 minutes than I ever remember learning in my entire days as a graduate music student. I will say that the informational tracks were probably a little over the head of my preschoolers, but I would have greatly appreciated having these recordings during my public school teaching days and am so glad to have them available now as a homeschool mom and homeschool choir director. I know we will be ordering many more of these recordings soon.
Want to win a Carnival of the Animals CD from Maestro Classics?
My family and I so enjoyed Maestro Classics that we are excited to announce that you can win a copy of Carnival of the Animals by using the giveaway app below. To enter, leave a comment below telling me which Maestro Classics CD you’d like to try out first or, if you already own a Maestro Classics CD, which is your favorite. Then, follow the directions in the app to confirm your comment and have other giveaway entry opportunities. All participants must be 18 years or older. Only United States citizens are eligible for a CD copy; all others will have the option of a mp3/pdf download.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway will end next Thursday, August 8 at 11:59pm (CST.)
Interested in Other Titles by Maestro Classics?
Maestro Classics also provides a host of other Stories in Music CDs such as Peter and the Wolf, The Story of Swan Lake, and The Tortoise and the Hare just to name a few. For information or to order, I encourage you to check out their products page and/or listen to excerpts of each CD found on their website. You can purchase and have a CD mailed to you or download an mp3/pdf version for even faster listening. Either way, as a music educator, I highly encourage you to check out these CDs as there is nothing out on the market even remotely close to this quality that also provides such a strong and engaging educational element.
I received this CD for free from Maestro Classics for this review. However, as always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own; I only recommend products or services that I feel are beneficial to my readers and my family. For more information on Cornerstone Confessions affiliates, please see my full disclosure policy.