Friday, January 6, 2012

Review - Maestro Classics Swan Lake

Maestro Classics - Swan Lake

Cost:  $16.98 CD or $9.98 Download MP3

Ages:  1st to 5th Grade

I personally love the symphony, the ballet, the stage.  It’s always been important to me to expose my children to the arts.  They may not enjoy all of it – let’s just say opera makes them hide, but they have has exposure to it.  Then, as they get older and their tastes mature, they can choose for themselves what facets of the arts they enjoy.

Swan Lake is a beautiful ballet.  I haven’t had the chance to take the kids to this particular ballet yet, but they are familiar with Tchaikovsky’s music.  In fact, my youngest has the pleasure of attending a class on composers all last year through our local co-op.
When Maestro Classics, Swan Lake, arrived, youngest is the one I thought might enjoy it most. He enjoys classical music.  I know Swan Lake isn’t very masculine for a 12-year-old boy, but we gave it a try.

The verdict – he enjoyed listening to it with me!  The CD first offers the music of Swan Lake along with a reader who explains what is going on.  Youngest thought the story was funny.  When the prince won’t dance and then gets a crossbow and starts dancing, he had to laugh.  Just like a boy to dance after getting a weapon!
The nice feature of this program is that not only are the students exposed to the music and the story, but there are several other educational features on the CD.  For Swan Lake, these included:

1.  The life of Tchaikovsky
2.  Discussion about the music itself

3.  Speed Metal Swan – a fun rendition of Swan Lake set to rock music
4.  A little ditty about Swan Lake that Youngest thought was hilarious

You can get a taste of each section by clicking here.  I thought he wouldn’t be interested in the little song about Swan Lake, but he still goes around singing “Tchaikovsky wrote a gr-eat ballet – it’s name was Swa-ha-ha-ha-han Lake.”
The CD I received included an insert that has little puzzles that the student can complete along with information to coincide with the content on the CD.  Much of this is structured for younger kids – grades 1-5. 

I have to say, I’m really impressed with the homeschooling resources for each CD provided on the web site.  While we didn’t use them, if I wanted to make a unit study using Swan Lake, it could easily be done using their links.  What a great feature for those in younger grades!
I thought this was a fun supplement to our pre-holiday studies.  So did Youngest.  I will recommend these CD’s to other homeschoolers with younger children.  Hurray for studying the arts!

If you would like to see other reviews of Swan Lake by the TOS Homeschool Crew – click here.
Maestro Classics can also be found on FaceBook here or on Twitter here.
*** I received this product free of charge as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew in exchange for my honest review.

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