Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Peter and the Wolf from Maestro Classics; a TOS Crew Review

When I saw Maestro Classics on the list of vendors for this Crew voyage, I hoped I'd be chosen to review another audio CD from the Simons.

When I was chosen for this review and saw that the selection is Peter and the Wolf, I was thrilled. It brought back a fun memory. I saw Timothy Dalton perform the part of the narrator in Peter and the Wolf in the '90's at the Hollywood Bowl.

The CD's provide more than a story set to music; the CD's offer music education, information about musical instrumenents; the Simons also give us auditory/listening skill-building experience, and the history of the story, music, and composer within a fun, entertaining format.

Each of the seven tracks on the CD adds layers of learning to the listening experience.

1. Peter and the Wolf

2. The Life of the Composer: Prokofiev

3. A Russian Peter

4. The Magic Maestro Talks About Peter & the Wolf

5. Peter and the Wolf without Narration

6. Invitation to Grandfather's Party

7. Kalinka - Dance Along

I can't decide which 'educational' track I like better; they tie, in my opinion. Bonnie Simon's background about the composer in track two teaches me. I am unfamiliar with Prokofiev no longer. After I hear Stephen Simon's presentation about the music in the fourth track, where he spotlights different aspects to listen for, I hear the music in a new way. The listening experience becomes richer, more special. He spotlights for listeners pieces of the musical part of the story that use a kind of auditory attention that so many individuals with developmental delays need to use and practice and experience.

The layout of the CD's is impressive to me - they follow a developmental progession that grow the listener's experience and knowledge - I really, really like the very deliberate order of the tracks. If the Stephen Simon track spotlighting the musical aspects came first, the CD would lose some value in my opinion. Being able to hear the whole story set to music once, first, and then learning new things to listen for sets the stage for (scaffolds) some neat discoveries about "what I thought I knew but didn't" and "what I hear now that I didn't hear before". Listeners make a discovery that a second look or listen can reveal new, exciting things.

The one negative for our situation is that the story is so long (almost a half hour). We have to listen to one track at a sitting; we can't do the entire hour-long CD in one session. I really enjoy this CD and this story - however, while Peter and the Wolf is just nine minutes longer than The Tortoise and the Hare, those nine minutes make a big difference for a child with attention challenges. Even listening while coloring and cutting, this almost half-hour long story pushes past way my daughter's limits. If you have a child with attention challenges, you might choose to order one of the CD's with a shorter story.

Maestro Classics CD's would be great for trips; for child care settings (MOPS, anyone?); for birthday gifts.

Priced at $16.98 (or three titles for $45), the Maestro Classics CD's provide an entertaining and quality learning experience.

Please go HERE to read my Crewmates' reviews of this product.

Maestro Music sent me a copy of the CD, Peter and the Wolf, for review purposes. I am not paid for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.


Leisa Hammett said...

Peter and The Wolfe is having a dress rehearsal at the Nashville Ballet TODAY! Ha! I had a chance to go but was unable. Interesting coincidence.

Chris Gunn said...

Penny we LOVED Peter and the Wolf! I was so very surprised my four year old sat and listened and wanted to hear it over and over after not caring for the Tortoise and Hare last year.
I haven't had much time this year to do much extra bloggin, but today when I received a Stylish Blogger award, I decided I should take the time to pass is along to some of my favorite bloggers.
So here ya go:

Maestro Classics said...

Hi Penny,

Thanks for the wonderful review of our Peter and the Wolf CD this winter. I just wanted to let you know that since you reviewed our CD we've made a Facebook page so that our fans can participate in monthly giveaways (June was Peter and the Wolf, as a matter of fact) and get coupons. We'd love to invite you and your readers to join our page and thanks again for the lovely review!

Social Media Coordinator
Maestro Classics

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