I was raised listening to classical music; we attended the symphony and the opera. When I was old enough I studied and played many different instruments in school and community orchestras. I have always loved classical music. I was pretty thrilled to hear about Maestro Classics ~ (http://www.MaestroClassicsDirect.com). And for my boys two of their favorite books were available too! SO we chose them; Casey at the Bat; and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Having the chance to review these was so exciting for us all!
Each CD features The London Philharmonic Orchestra, and includes sing a longs, fun details the music, the author or composer, and lots more! The Maestro Classics CDs are geared towards children ages 5 to 12; parents too. There is lots of fun to be had and many lessons to be learned for all of us! Each CD includes a small activity book that tells the history of the music, words are included so all can sing along, and there are fun activities and puzzles too. You can purchase the CD with accompanying activity book or an Mp3 download and an accompanying PDF. The CDs cost $16.98 for the CD (plus shipping) and $9.98 for the MP3 download.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel named Mary Anne are close friends to our family 🙂 We love this story!! I do not know how many times we have read it either, but my four year old son loves this book. He is fascinated with all those big trucks…In fact he takes such joy from watching the big trucks go by as we leave near to a rock quarry – Sometimes you really hear those trucks too! We listened to this one outside; my oldest son liked to follow along with the book, and did some neat sketches as he listened. We also enjoyed the activities in the booklet that came with this one. My oldest son (8) loved the maze and word search; he was also thrilled to find The Code and The Puzzle (you use the scale to figure out the letter for each note, completing a message he tried to play on our keyboard!). There were other fun activities there too; biographies and histories to read but they did not capture my children’s attention so much. (I really enjoyed them though!)
We also enjoyed Casey at the Bat. Turns out we have this book too but it never really caught anyone’s attention until they were listening to the CD. Of course my oldest now wants to play softball this summer so it was kind of nice that we the chance to listen to this one. Really sparked an interest in him for something that he, otherwise, had no interest in exploring. 🙂 Along with a wonderfully told story; we got to learn some new facts about the circumference of a baseball and its weight, the pieces of leather used to cover a ball and the number of stitches even. Who knew it was so exact? With this one was a special treat for my boys. There is a special recipe that comes with this one; the ingredients are lines of music. In order to play this one you must read the music notes and play them (each line represents either ice cream, or fudge and whipped cream, maraschino cherry, crushed cookies….makes me hungry!). This really helped my son get more excited about learning how to read and play music too.
As if that isn’t enough (engaging music, fabulous theatrics that make the story so fun, puzzles and games too) there are also lots of great Educational Materials listed on their site for each story they have. We created some fun instruments too; simple and or my boys, loud and fun and crazy Home Projects! And there is so much more they have to share on their site. It’s truly a wealth of information. You could spend weeks on these they provide so much for you. From history, to science, math, geography and language they go out of their way to make one of their CD”s a truly “alive” experience!
We love these. We are going to get more of these. I want to collect them all. Truthfully, a story is so much greater; more inviting and more captivating, when it feels like you are a part of it and with these, I tell you, you can close your eyes and just see yourself there. With MaryAnne, with Casey….in the middle of a baseball game or digging fast and hard… you are there….It’s exciting indeed!
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