I don't remember a whole lot about my 2nd grade year. I remember my teacher, Mrs Wiltz, I remember where my classroom was, and I remember duck and cover drills - hey, it was the early 80's.. While I don't remember who my music teacher was, I do remember attending a separate music class each day during that year but not a whole lot more. However, I remember to distinct things about that class - learning the various songs about Texas ("Texas, Our Texas", "The Eyes of Texas" and "The Yellow Rose of Texas") and I remember listening to Peter and the Wolf. I loved Peter and the Wolf and it was probably my first introduction to Orchestral music and I always loved how, in my young mind, I could clearly picture each animal based on the instrument playing.
It was this early experience in music class that led me to want to be able to review Maestro Classics Peter and the Wolf as performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. My children are the same age as when I was introduced to this piece and I hoped to instill the same love I have for it in them.
The CD itself consists of 8 tracks including an Introduction, the performance of Peter and the Wolf but with and without narration, as well as a Russian version of Peter and the Wolf played on Russian Folk instruments such as the balalaika, the bayan and the domra - instruments children here in the United States rarely get an opportunity to hear.
Over the last few weeks, I have no listened to both the Russian version as well as the more familiar version of Peter and the Wolf probably 30 times. I found very quickly that my kids, especially Ashleigh, loved Peter and the Wolf just as much as I did when I was their age. Ashleigh requests listening to it at least every other day, she likes it that much.
The first thing I did when receiving the CD was to upload the tracks to my cloud account so that I
Through both the listening of the Introduction as well as the downloadable curriculum, the kids have quickly learned to differentiate between the different instruments used for each character. Whether its the bassoon, the French horn, the oboe or the clarinet, they can quickly identify which instrument is playing based on the sound.
It's also funny to listen to their running commentary while listening to the tracks. Garrett's favorite part is when the Grandfather slams the gate and he pantomimes the actions of the Grandfather every time. Same holds true with the hunters and it's not uncommon to see both kids doing what I can only describe as an Elmer Fudd imitation while pretending to be the hunters searching for the wolf.
I am so glad to have had this opportunity to share with my kids something that was such a wonderful memory for me when I was their age. It has indeed fostered a love of music with the kids and has led to them using their imagination and creating their own descriptions of what they think is occurring in other pieces of music by greats such as Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as picking out the now familiar instruments they hear in each piece they listen to.
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