As part of our Charlotte Mason education, we enjoy great literature and classical music for children. Maestro Classics combines both of these! We were so excited to get the chance to review two CDs: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and Casey at the Bat.
About Maestro Classics
Maestro Classics produces Stories in Music, which is a classical music CD series for children. Each CD is narrated and includes music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Familiar stories are turned into exciting adventures with music. The series is educational, too. Children learn to listen for certain sounds and instruments, and they learn even more about the stories.
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
The first CD we listened to was Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. This CD is for children ages 4 and up and costs $16.98. My oldest son loves this story. We have read it several times, so it was really fun to get to listen to the story in a new way. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel was written by Virginia Lee Burton and tells the story of Mike and his steam shovel Mary Anne. When gas powered shovels are invented, Mike and Mary Anne are soon out of work. When Mike hears of a new Town Hall being built, he volunteers to dig the basement. It’s a story of perseverance.
The first track is a narration by Yadu of the story set to music. The next track is a little about the author and the story. Then we hear the fun Mike Mulligan song, followed by how a composer creates a musical score. We are then invited to listen to the story again, but to pay special attention to the music. Finally, we get to sing along to the Mike Mulligan song.
The CD comes with a 24 page activity booklet full of interesting facts and puzzles.
Casey at the Bat
How we used our CDs
The kids and I listened to each CD several times. We had a lot of fun trying to identify certain instruments and dancing along with the music. There was one instance where the music sounded like airplanes flying and the kids enjoyed running around with their arms out pretending to be airplanes. My kids were not quite old enough to use the activity booklet, but we did read from it a little. We talked about recycling as suggested in the Mike Mulligan booklet.
I recently discovered some awesome homeschool music curriculum guides on the Maestro Classics website. These give you lots of ideas for how to use the CDs in various ways in your curriculum. We will try some of these ideas in the future.
The kids had so much fun listening to these CDs and we definitely recommend them to anyone looking to add a fun way to learn about both literature and music to their homeschool. I loved all of the interactive components of the CDs and look forward to using them over and over.