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Friday, December 18, 2009

TOS Crew: Maestro Classics: The Tortoise and the Hare

(Mel participated in this review with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)

Reviewing with the TOS Crew has been such a blessing, as we've been able to review a variety of items.  This time, it was no different. 

We were able to review Maestro Classics: The Tortoise and the Hare. This review brought back many memories from my childhood.  I remember having a record similar to this story that I used to listen to (I think it was Peter and the Wolf), and I loved it. 

This product came in CD form, which came in a nice, sturdy, fold-out case with a little program book.  Your child can not only listen to the story and the music, but he can learn about music right along with the CD.  The music on the CD is conducted by Stephen Simon.  Music, throughout the story, is from the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  The story adaptation is by Bonnie Ward Simon, and the CD is narrated by Yadu.  As the child listens to the CD, he'll learn how to listen to music, how music goes up and down, fast or slow, etc.  He'll also learn about the composer and the story at hand.  As the child looks through the booklet, he'll learn about the orchestra and instruments played in an orchestra, and he'll learn some basic music education, such as whole notes vs. half notes, time signatures, etc.  There's even an informational section on turtles, tortoises, hares, and rabbits.  He can follow along with the music to the song Pretzel Vendor of Paris.  There are some other small activities for him to do.  This might make for a good unit study that is smaller, yet great for a change of pace.

I like the way that the narrator and the music go hand in hand to tell the story together on the CD.  The narrator does a fantastic job dramatizing the story just a bit through different voices, accents, etc. The music helps you to feel the actions and workings of the story; it helps the child to get even more involved in the story and to feel the story.  Here is a listing of what is on the CD:
  • The Tortoise and the Hare: London Philharmonic Orchestra; Stephen Simon, conductor, Yadu, narrator (20:43)
  • About the Story: Bonnie Ward Simon (02:49)
  • Pretzel Vendor of Paris Song: Maestro Classics Dixieland Band (02:06)
  • About the Music: Stephen Simon, composer and conductor (04:49)
  • Now That You Know a Little More...: The Tortoise and the Hare (20:43)
  • Want to Have Some Fun?  Prepare to Perform: Bonnie Ward Simon (00:35)
  • Pretzel Vendor of Paris Sing-Along: Accompaniment Only (02:06)
I can tell you that this is a CD that we will, no doubt, listen to over and over again.  You can purchase this CD for $16.98 from Maestro Classics.  They also have other titles available, such as Peter and the Wolf, The Story of Swan Lake, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, etc.  You can even purchase 3 CDs for $45 by entering the coupon code MAESTRO45 at checkout.

You can read more reviews on the TOS Homeschool Crew Blog.

(Disclosure: I was provided this product, free of charge, by Maestro Classics, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)


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