Last year we started our annual tradition of going to see Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker performed by a local ballet troupe. That’s why I jumped at the chance to review The Nutcracker from Maestro Classics. It takes our annual tradition and goes deeper. One of the many reasons I love homeschooling.
My children love music. One of the things I’ve been wanting to incorporate into our daily life is an introduction into classical music. Sure they can sing all the words to Jake and the Neverland Pirates, but do they know that Tchaikovsky composed The Nutcracker?
Now they do.
The mission statement of Maestro Classics is:
To cultivate a love of music through education and joyful performances, to expand and develop listening skills and encourage adults and children to listen together.
They do just that.
We are in love.
Maestro Classics gave my children the opportunity to experience the London Philharmonic Orchestra in the comfort of their own Living Room and sometimes in their carseat. If they wanted to get up and dance, they could. Grabbing a snack wasn’t a problem. Potty breaks were okay too.
These CDs are suitable for children ages 5 to 12 and come with a 24-page program booklet that includes biographies, interesting information on a variety of related subjects, both musical and non-musical, and is illustrated by a noted artist or children’s book illustrator whose work reflects the spirit of the music.
Inside The Nutcracker booklet you will find the following:
- an outline of the Nutcracker story
- a history of ballet
- some music for the nutcracker
- the history of the harp
- some biographical information about Tchaikovsky
- word scrambles and crossword puzzles
At only an hour long, The Nutcracker is not hard for littles to sit through. As we listened to the CD in the house, they colored activities included in the curriculum guide.
We have tried to incorporate classical music into our lives in the past, but I failed miserably. Maestro Classics makes it easy to incorporate music into our daily lives. Their titles include: Peter and the Wolf, The Nutcracker, The Story of Swan Lake, Carnival of the Animals, My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, The Tortoise and the Hare, Merry Pranks of Master Till, Casey at the Bat, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice , The Soldier’s Tale, and Juanita la langosta Española.
The kids now ask to listen to Maestro Classics The Nutcracker when we get in the van. I just purchased their Complete Collection for Christmas. That’s how much we have enjoyed this CD together.
Taking it Further
While program booklet does include fun activities that go along with the CD, Maestro Classics has done an amazing job at taking it further and creating curriculum guides for each CD. My daughter especially enjoyed the ballet section of The Nutcracker curriculum guide.
Specifically, The Nutcracker curriculum guide sections included ballet, history and geography, science, language arts, art, music, and math.
At only $16.98, The Nutcracker CD is well worth it to enjoy with your family for years to come.
Where You Can Find Maestro Classics