The Old Schoolhouse has been reviewing four CD’s from Maestro Classics lately, and I received two to review, Casey at the Bat and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Part of the Stories in Music CD series, Maestro Classics produced these CD’s with well known stories or poems set to symphony orchestra music.
The beginning of the CD starts with the story or poem read, complete with voice changes and sound effects by the orchestra. We turned up the volume and just listened. After the story, a short background of the author is given, followed by a somewhat detailed description of why the orchestra does what it does. With descriptions on instruments, why the volume fluctuates, and how the music makes you hear the story with more than words, Maestro Classics has taken classic stories and turned them into masterpieces of a different variety. At the end, the story/poem plays again, with the encouragement to listen for the instruments and fluctuations and everything that makes up the musical parts of the story.
I put this in during our laundry folding party. With ten loads to fold, it seemed like a good time – and added a bit more excitement to our everyday chores. When one dear child was sent with something to put it away, the request came to pause the story. I think they liked it! We all listened, from ages 2-10, plus me, and while I thought some of the words were definitely above all of my kids’ heads, they didn’t seem to notice. (Though when we were nearly finishing Casey at the Bat, one of my older kids asked which sport they were playing. Oh dear. We’re a bit sports-illiterate around here.) Mike Mulligan is a story we’re quite familiar with and own in book form, but this was a lot more exciting than listening to me read it! The music, the sound effects… it’s all pretty spectacular.
Casey at the Bat is listed for all ages, and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is listed for ages four and up. I’m not certain why the difference, and certainly my younger children didn’t understand it all, but even Pierce, age two, sat staring at the blue screen of the television, listening intently as the CD played on our DVD player. Obviously there wasn’t a picture – but he was mesmerized nonetheless. Both came with a fun booklet with words to the songs to sing along, information about the instruments in the CD, and games. Mike Mulligan is 51 minutes long and Casey at the Bat is 35 minutes long.
Casey at the Bat and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovels are priced at $16.98 each for the physical CD, or $9.98 for the MP3 download. Maestro Classics can be found on Facebook here and on Pinterest here.
To read the rest of the Review Crew’s thoughts on the two I received, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Casey at the Bat, as well as the other two titles reviewed by others on the Crew, My Name is Handel, and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, head over to the Review Crew Blog.