Friday, October 30, 2015

Maestro Classics ~The Nutcracker *Review

Maestro Classics Review

Maestro Classics  brings classical music to a child's level. We have been studying the country of Russia, and The Nutcracker was a perfect compliment for us.

Maestro Classics Review

I have found that my kids tend to think Classical music is 'boring'. My 16 year old will turn on the classical music station in the car (which he actually enjoys) just to hear the roar of 'booing' in the back seat from the little ones. What?? How can this be. I just have not given them a indepth experience into the beautiful realm of classical music. Maestro Classics is a great way to introduce them, and to turn the experience around.

The Nutcracker gives an abbreviated version with narration just for the kids. To be able to visualize this beautiful ballet through music. I was blessed to see this on stage when I was in college and it truly brought the music to life.

There are 21 tracks for a total of 58 minutes. We listened to this on our travel to a homeschool co-op group. Great for day trips to help break up the trip and expose our kids to great music!

The Nutcracker went great with our Russia study as it is a Russian ballet. This version is adapted by Stephen Simon and is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Nothing but the best!  Jim Weiss is the narrator. If you have listened to other narrations before you may have heard Jim Weiss. He is outstanding! A very gifted narrator for kids and adults a like.

The ballet takes place as Christmas with an indulgence of toys and candy and all things bright and beautiful! Tchaikovsky's music is phenomenal! He can tell the story simply with the music. Jim Weiss just adds a flare to it to help the children visualize the story of Clara and Fritz and their Christmas gala.

The CD comes with a color insert that gives the scene names from the ballet. It also has information on the history of ballet, the harp, Tchaikovsky, as well as a small intro to Stephen Simon and Jim Weiss. In the Nutcracker insert there is also a small word scramble and word find.

Maestro Classics can be used alone for a look at the classics. They also can easily be incorporated into unit studies based on what country the composer may be from, or the season of the year that the classic falls (Christmas time for this particular one), or even a in-depth study of a various group of composers. There are many ways to include classical music into your homeschool.

The Nutcracker is such a popular one that you may even be able to find a performance to go to after you listen to the Maestro Classic version. I know many local community theaters and even colleges have performances of it during the holidays. What a great way to celebrate the season and to share the love of the orchestra with your children!

The kids did not 'boo' this CD like they have the radio station. Thankfully! I love the combination of the sound effects, the orchestra and Jim Weiss narration. The three together really give an engaging experience for the entire family!

Be sure to check out the other great Classics offered by Maestro Classics!

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Maestro Classics Review

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