Thursday, May 8, 2014

Schoolhouse Review: Maestro Classics #hsreviews

Maestro Classics Review
It's no secret that we enjoy listening to great music and learning as we travel. Seems like just yesterday when we were traveling "over the river and through the woods" listening to our very first of the Maestro Classics Stories in Music as I introduced the family to Swan Lake.  We were hooked from the very first note so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share Casey at the Bat and My Name is Handel:  The Story of Handel's Water Music ($16.98 each for CD or $9.98 each for MP3 download) with them last month as we headed north on a field trip.  {I take every opportunity to sneak in a little culture, so riding in the van for an hour and a half was the perfect time to listen and discuss together.  I enjoy sharing the beautiful sounds from the London Philharmonic Orchestra with my children as we expand our musical horizons together.  It speaks highly of Maestro Classics that they wanted to re-listen at home and share with friends, as well. Don't you think?}

Maestro Classics Review
We are a baseball loving family and dinner at the diamond is no stranger to us.  I've spent countless hours watching my boy on the field at practice, in the batting cage and on the pitcher's mound at lessons, and running the bases after a hit or snagging a fly ball in the outfield at games.  His bedroom even has a baseball motif so I just KNEW that Casey at the Bat would be a fun one for us.  With the real-life sounds of a baseball game in full swing coming through the speakers from musical notes and instruments, that old favorite poem came alive for us as we listened together. 

The kids were thrilled to hear Casey at the Bat played as a symphonic piece as well as a concert piece. They enjoyed the full band swing and the psuedo march.  The crowd noises from a major league game literally came swirling to life around us as we listened.  We were enthralled with the sounds and transported to a hot summer day with the smell of peanuts, and popcorn, and cracker jacks as we eagerly awaited Casey's swing after the pitcher's windup.  Every time we listen, we fully expect that Casey WILL hit a homerun and save the game.  And every time we sigh deeply when he strikes out.  This speaks highly of the quality performances that Maestro Classics continues to produce.

We've been studying Gershwin's symphonic poem An American in Paris and Casey at the Bat offered us a neat opportunity for a great comparison as musical instruments mimic real life sounds. I love those ah-ha moments when what we talk about in school meets real-life.  Don't you?  In addition to the musical components of Maestro Classics, each CD has an accompanying activity book -- Casey's included games, recipes, and fun facts about baseballs.  This was a win-win at my house.

Maestro Classics Review

We studied through the music of Handel last year and it was great to have the chance to rekindle our appreciation of his compositions through Maestro Classics.  I love having the opportunity to study Handel's Water Music in detail and to introduce my children to the harpsichord and allow them to explore the "King of Instruments," the organ.  We were fascinated to hear the story behind the music and shocked that Handel didn't get in trouble for "skipping town" when he did.  The beautiful sounds as the music played across the water for King George amazed us -- and finding out that the musicians had to continue playing for hours impressed us.  

We were also able to use Handel's activity book to further enhance our musical experience.  We discussed the Baroque Orchestra and the difference in size between it and the familiar Orchestra of today.  We took a mini-tour of London icons (Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, and St. George's Square) and I shared the pictures from my college visit -- too many years ago to tell, but the pictures were still beautiful.  It was a fun reminder of an unforgettable trip and I was able to share the details of my trip abroad with my children as we listened to Handel's Water Music.  

Maestro Classics truly offers something for everyone.  Casey at the Bat is for families of all ages -- you will all adore attending the famous baseball game together no matter what your age.  Handel's Water Music will be enjoyed by all, as well, but children over the age of 5 will understand the story and history best.  Maestro Classics has quite a few selections to choose from, so be sure to stop by and see which ones your family will enjoy most.

You can connect with Maestro Classics via the following social media links:   



Crew Disclaimer

I was given the opportunity to review Casey at the Bat and My Name is Handel:  The Story of Handel's Water Music by Maestro Classics as a member of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew.   You can check out the Crew Review and see what other members of the Schoolhouse ReviewCrew thought of this and other products as well (or just click on the banner below.)

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1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your heart with me!