We had the opportunity to review two cds from Maestro Classics: My Name is Handel: The Story of Handel’s “Water Music” and Casey at the Bat. Stories in Music is recommended for ages 5 to 12 and their parents but can actually be used for any age and all members of the family.
Originally Maestro Classics started in 2004 as live sold out performances at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Chamber Symphony with Mr Simon as the music director and Mrs Simon as the executive director. They then took their unique program to a new level with CDs that could reach many more people. Their unique style consists of alternating music and talking, sharing background information about the piece or the composer. They also include a 24-page booklet which shares short information about things that pertain to that particular “story in music” (travel, instrument detail, games, Maestro Classics information, etc.).
My Name is Handel: The Story of Handel’s “Water Music” has an overall running time of almost 49 minutes consisting of one 38 minute overview of the story of Handel’s “Water Music” as well as five other short items. The overview discusses Handel’s life and music. I NEVER thought you would find ME listening to classical music…however through this review, I have found it is quite enjoyable. And learning the history of his life along with a explanation of what the music is about helps to understand the music more…that the music is actually telling a story. Which is something I am used to in the Christian music I listen to…but in the WORDS not the MUSIC. It is really much more powerful when it comes directly from the music.
Casey at the Bat – we chose this one because of our love of baseball. It is approximately 33 minutes in overall length consisting of 11 different titles, two of which are seven minutes, all others are much less than that. This “stories in music” covers the poem “Casey at the Bat“. This one definitely keeps you awake with the variations of music and vocal tunes…up, down, loud, soft…basically like a baseball game. This one also actually has the listeners get a bit more involved by getting up and marching as well as discussing HOW to actually LISTEN to the music. Near the end of the CD they have you listen to the original again…seeing if you can hear (notice) more than you did originally (YES! you can!).
These two CDs were COMPLETELY different in overall feel. Handel was more of a biographical musical and Casey at the Bat had more of the feeling of a fun story line. We greatly enjoyed BOTH and learned A LOT from both.
Would we recommend this product to others? YES we would! We GREATLY enjoyed these and LOVE how they are entertaining AND educational. Wonderful items perfect for ANY homeschool (or others too!).
You can find additional wonderful homeschool helps FREE information (articles, games, pictures, etc) that corresponds to the CDs HERE.
You can purchase your own copies at Maestro Classics. They cost $16.98 for the CD or $9.98 for immediate download.
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Here’s praying you have fun learning!