Saturday, January 7, 2012

TOS Review of Maestro Classics: The Story of Swan Lake

I knew my kids would love this.  They love listening to books and they love dancing to music, so what could be more fun than combining the two?!  The Story of Swan Lake by Maestro Classics features The London Philharmonic Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky's famous ballet with Stephen Simon conducting.  The story is narrated by Yadu, the original narrator for the Stories in Music concerts at the Kennedy Center.

My middle four kids (3-10 years) listened intently and in turn acted out or danced along with the story.  I'm glad they enjoyed it so much, but I'm especially happy for them to be exposed to the fabulous music of Tchaikovsky.  Measle has been playing the violin for about 3 years and Prince just started lessons this week.  Listening to classical music is a very important part of the Suzuki method.

The booklet included with The Story of Swan Lake is filled with interesting facts about Tchaikovsky (also included on the CD), a mnemonic song that helps your children associate Tchaikovsky with Swan Lake (also included on the CD), a pictograph story summary to help your kids remember the plot, fun activities like dot to dot, a crossword puzzle, a maze, a tutorial on the difference between major and minor keys, and pages featuring the accoustic and electric guitar.  The CD has a total playing time of 54 minutes and has in addition to The Story of Swan Lake, which runs 33 minutes, information on Tchaikovsky's life, a guitar arrangement by Joe Stump called Speed Metal Swan, information about the music, the song "Tchaikovsky Wrote a Great Ballet", and more.

My kids had a blast with The Story of Swan Lake in the living room, but I kept thinking it would be the perfect family entertainment on our next road trip.  I plan on ordering several more Maestro Classics in the future.  I think Peter and the Wolf will be our next purchase.  I have fond memories of listening to a Peter and the Wolf record when I was a little girl.  When Lucie (3 yrs) was returning to her room to change clothes after Swan Lake, she exclaimed, "That was great!"  And I have to agree!

You can purchase Maestro Classics CDs here for $16.98 or as mp3 downloads for $9.98.  Other titles include Peter and the Wolf, The Soldier's Tale, My Name is Handel:  The Story of Water Music, The Tortoise and the Hare, Casey at the Bat, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Juanita the Spanish Lobster, and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.   They also have a 9 CD collection available for $128, for a savings of $25!


Please check out the other TOS reviews of Maestro Classics!

Disclaimer:  I received a free copy of Maestro Classics The Story of Swan Lake in exchange for an honest review.

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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.