Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. For more info please see my disclosure policy.

Maestro Classics: Carnival of the Animals Review and Giveaway

Maestro Classics Giveaway

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?

Each Maestro Classic CD comes with a quality recording as well as an informational booklet.  Each CD provides:

  • 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.


Cornerstone Confessions
If you enjoyed your visit, enter your e-mail below to have Cornerstone Confessions sent right to your inbox. As part of the Cornerstone Confessions community, you will also gain access to 140+ FREE planner printables for 2015 AND 2016! So let's connect!


  1. Rhonda H. says

    As a child I had a record (yes, record—I am old!) Of Peter and the Wolf, which I loved! I am thinking of buying one for my grand kiddos and would love to try Carnival of the Animals, thanks for the opportunity!

    • says

      Rhonda, if it makes you feel any better, I used to listen to records as a kid too. Yep, I heard all my fairy tales on vinyl first. LOL. Oh the memories…

  2. Heather says

    Love all the Maestro Classics and we don’t have Carnival of the Animals yet. Thanks for the opportunity!

  3. Beverlie Chua says

    Peter and the Wolf was highly recommended by one of the blogs I’ve read, that’s why I got hold of that as our first purchase.

  4. Martha says

    We have several Maestro Classics CD’s, but not Carnival of the Animals. We would love to have it. Thanks for hosting this.

  5. Melissa Bell says

    I think Peter & The Wolf would be my first choice. I enjoyed that so much in school myself!

  6. Annabelle says

    Good day,

    I would love to win “My name is Handel, this is water music” for my four year old son, he would be overjoyed to receive it for his upcoming birthday.

    Thank you!


  7. vivian says

    we have being praying for the cd’s , we already have the lap books from journey trough learning ,so hope we can win .

  8. Renee says

    I have recently discovered Maestro Classics and was thinking about Carnival of the Animals. Thank you for your review and input! I am hoping to get some of their CDs.

  9. Kay says

    Love Carnival of the Animals, but in the past used the library copy. Would love one for my home and co-op!!!

  10. Rhonda says

    I would love to have severeal of the Maestro Classics. I love Mike Mulligan and Peter and the Wolf!

  11. Kristina says

    I have one of these CDs and we love it. The next one I’d like is Peter and the Wolf or Carnival of the Animals.

  12. says

    i have always wanted their CDs, but they have been a luxury item and thus out of reach right now. i would love to hear Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. It is a favorite in our house!

  13. Julia says

    I keep meaning to buy Peter and the Wolf for my children, but I also think they would enjoy Juanita the Spanish Lobster after a recent trip out east and a new found lobster obsession.

  14. Kelly says

    My first thought was Peter & the Wolf, but my kids have been introduced to that so I think I’ll say Carnival of the Animals. :-)

  15. Christine Calvin says

    We have enjoyed The Tortoise and the Hare. All 3 of my kids (8,6,4 years old) love it. Looking forward to try out Carnival of the Animals.

  16. Rebecca Smith says

    I would love to have Peter and the Wolf or even My Name is Handel. Classical music is so important to know and appreciate in both children’s lives and adult’s lives.

  17. Amy M. says

    We have The Tortoise and the Hare and it is awesome! I am sure all of their classics are equally as good!! Thanks for hosting a giveaway!

  18. Sherry says

    Hello. We have a MP3 of Tortoise and the Hare but I think my boys would really like Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel. They have the book and the CD already and love listening to it.

  19. Kimberly C says

    I just borrowed Casey At The Bat from the library — and we all loved it. I’d like that one!!

  20. Jamey says

    We have a downloaded copy of Peter and the Wolf, which my kids have really enjoyed. We play it during lunch and when they’re doing things at the table like art or playdough. My 4 year old loves Mike Mulligan right now so I’d love to have that one as well.

  21. Georgette H. says

    I always go back and forth on which Maestro Classics CD I want to start with (been thinking of this for a while). My kids LOVE all sorts of music and stories! Right now, I’d probably start with Carnival of the Animals.