Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Review: "My Name is Handel: The Story of the Water Music" and "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel" by Maestro Classics

Our family enjoys beautiful music and good stories. Through the TOS Crew, we learned about classical music for children put to stories by Maestro Classics. We received a physical copy of "My Name is Handel: The Story of the Water Music" and a physical copy of "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel" in exchange for my honest review.

Who is Maestro Classics?

This is a rather new children's music series by Bonnie and Stephen Simon. These cd's for children are comprised of works for the narrator and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. They expose children to beautiful music, history, and lively stories. In addition, they help families to enjoy and understand orchestral music.

How We Used Maestro Classics in our Homeschool

As of late, we have been on the road more than usual out of necessity. It's always nice to have audio dramas to take along with us. However, it was a lot of fun to have new stories to listen to as we traveled.

My Name is Handel: The Story of the Water Music

We have listened to a couple of audios about Handel, but neither were as lively as this narration. We also learned some very interesting {possible} information about the non-assuming Mr. Handel... information that one would not suspect scholars to have dug up. I know you are sitting on the edge of your seat; I hear you saying, "Come on, Heather. Spill it!" Sorry. You'll just have to purchase it and find out. :-)

This particular story is created for ages 5+ but even our Sweetie Pie at 4 years old and Super Busy at 2 years old were engaged listeners (and of course Cool Daddy and I enjoyed them as well). 

The narrator, Yadu, speaks very clearly and paces the story with the music. While we listened to this on the go, I think it will make for a nice story to listen to prior to bedtime because of the relaxing music and the narrator's tone- they are harmoniously soothing.

What I Like About "My Name is Handel: The Story of the Water Music"

  • The story is organized and very easy to follow.
  • The music selection is beautiful.
  • I love the history behind the Water Music. It was explained with fun words creating fantastic imagery. 
  • Our whole family enjoyed it.

What You Will Find with "My Name is Handel: The Story of the Water Music"

  • Along with the CD is a little booklet with information such as the history and background of the music, lyrics for the sing along songs, and little activities such as puzzles.
  • Facts about Orchestras
  • Terminology about musical forms and audio bits to help people listen for these examples the next time they listen to the story.
  • Interesting updated scholar facts (was Handel more than a composer, conductor and producer?)
  • Facts about King Edward.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel


This is a treasured children's story written by a mother who was inspired by her two sons as they played with their steam engine toys. This CD is created for ages 4+ but our Super Busy at 2 years of age was an engaged listener of this story as well. Needless to say, Cool Daddy and I were, too.

We had not heard of this story before and it is a delightful tale. I love the selection of music which the composer selected. I don't know about you, but I enjoy the bagpipes- at least in certain instances. I can't get over how I love them combined with string instruments in this story (a first taste of this ear candy for me). The use of all instruments adds another dimension to this story.

What I Like About Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

  • It's inspiring to learn how the authoress was influenced by child play to write this story.
  • It's enjoyable to learn how her stories became animated with a special support team as she wrote this story. It's great for children to learn about this.
  • I like that children learn about how some people felt about steam engines transitioning out of use and existence.
  • I appreciate how the composer shares about choice instruments used for sound effects and to show emotions of the various characters.
  • Instruments are explained- such as the difference between Scottish and Irish bagpipes. Aye. That I do now.

Something I'd Like to See

Well, quite frankly, I haven't been able to think of anything! These stories are created exceptionally well, full of talent and complete. The quality is superb and professional. Considering this, I think they deserve a standing ovation!

Thank you, Maestro Classics, for the quality and creativity you have put into your products. You are an integral part of keeping breathtaking symphony music alive for future generations.

How Much These Products Cost

The Story of the Water Music is $16.98 on CD and $9.99 for an MP3 Download with printable PDF booklet. You can listen to samples and purchase it at their store, here.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel  is $16.98 on CD and $9.98 for an MP3 Download with printable PDF booklet. You can listen to samples purchase it at their store, here.

You will also find activities at their website for your children at their Maestro Classics page. And, they offer educational materials including: Maestro Classics CDs Homeschool Music Curriculum Guides; Sheet Music; Home Projects; A Journey Through Learning (Lapbooks) resource to contact and several others.

Where You Can Visit Maestro Classics

Maestro Classics CDs on facebook 

Maestro Classics on Pinterest 

I'd love for you to learn more about what Maestro Classics has to offer. Won't you please read more reviews of these and other CDs by Maestro Classics that the TOS Crew has written? Just click on the graphic below.

Blessings to you all,

No comments:

Post a Comment