Maestro Classics Review
Much to my delight, Cuddle Bug (5.5) and PB & J Girl (7) are finally big enough to join Bookworm (11) and enjoy audio stories.  Since we often have long car rides, listening to stories makes the time pass more quickly, and plus, they’re usually educational.  We recently spent some time listening to The Nutcracker by Maestro Classics, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

About Maestro Classics

I did not listen to classical music until I was in college, which is a shame.  Maestro Classics seeks to change that for today’s children.  Through music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and child-friendly stories, Stephen Simon and Bonnie Ward Simon make classical music not only understandable, but fun!

Maestro Classics was created in 2004, and since then, the company’s products have won over 50 awards including numerous Parents’ Choice Awards,  Dr. Toy Awards, and NAPPA Awards, to name just a few.

Currently Maestro Classics has 12 CDs or MP3 downloads available:

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
Juanita la langosta Española

About The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker is approximately 58 minutes long and is recommended for listeners 5+.  The story is narrated by Jim Weiss and conducted by Stephen Simon.

Our Experience with The Nutcracker

Maestro Classics Review

We listened to The Nutcracker over a few days while we were driving in the car.  The kids loved it and always asked to listen to it.  The story kept the youngest two especially in suspense.  They were continually trying to guess if the story was just a dream or real.  Even better, after listening to the story, they recognized one of the tunes when they heard it later in a different place.

Each CD comes with a 24 page informational booklet.  In this one for The Nutcracker, in addition to the information about the tracks on the CD, the following was also included:

  • History of Ballet,
  • Overture to the Nutcracker,
  • The Harp,
  • Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky,
  • Land of Sweets Word Scramble, and
  • Nutcracker Crossword Puzzle

But beyond this helpful booklet, there are other resources parents can use to go into greater depth.  Each of the 12 CDs listed above include curriculum guides that cover such topics as history, science, geography, language arts, art, music and math.

As we get closer to Christmas, I intend to pull this CD out again and study it in greater depth using the curriculum guide.

We were able to review My Name is Handle: The Story of Water Music as well as Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel last year.  We also bought Peter and the Wolf, The Tortoise and the Hare, and Casey at the Bat, so The Nutcracker is our 6th CD from Maestro Classics.  We have loved all of these CDs, and I plan to continue to slowly buy them until we have the entire collection.

Discount Codes for Maestro Classics

Currently, Maestro Classics is offering several deals.

The complete 12 CD set is currently priced at $150 (the list price is $200), and they’re offering free shipping.  Enter the code PIANO for a limited time to get another $20 off.

Or, you can use the code FLUTE to receive 15% off your purchase.

Remember, CDs are $16.98, but if you order three, you will get them for $45.

I was one of 100 reviewers to review either The Nutcracker or Peter and the Wolf.  To read the other reviews, click on the link below:

Maestro Classics Review
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