May All Children Live In Peace …. Sweet Peace on Earth

Music Together MayAllChildrenCoverMusic Together is a wonderful program to introduce children and their parents to the universal world of music. My two older children attended the Music Together classes for a number of years and really enjoyed the experience, especially the songs that we learned.

“May All Children” is one of our favorites, so introducing it to my son, who hadn’t the opportunity to attend the live classes, was something that I was very excited to sing it together as a family. The song/story is a simple one — we all want peace on earth and the ones who deserve it the most are the innocent, the children. The song’s composition evokes a sense of peace and a longing to make the words come true. My son was very touched by the song. Being able to see the pictures from the storybook, I believe, helped him to understand this universal desire for peace.

I believe that this song encapsulates the beauty of their programs — it allows families to enjoy the beauty and the power of music. In addition to the storybook, I was also sent a copy of the Lullabies CD. The songs are simple to learn, but touch the soul. Many moms with infants would take the lullaby segment to nurse their babies or to just cuddle. The lullabies remind us of the love that we feel for our children in a memorable way. I admit to getting a little misty-eyed listening to the songs.

In addition to the CD and book collections that are offered on the main website, you can also purchase instruments designed for little hands so that you and your children can accompany the lively songs that are another component of their program.  Music is something that is best experienced both physically and emotionally. Their books, CDs and classes are all designed to decrease the fear of performing music incorrectly while increasing your connection to our sadly neglected musical muscles.

As one of our Music Together teachers told us, music is everyone’s inheritance and not just those who get recording contracts. I highly recommend both their live classes, as well as their other resources.  Music is a gift for everyone — especially our children. May all children one day live in peace and music.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of Music Together’s book in return for my honest opinion. No other compensation was received.

Four Seasons of Faith

This beautifully illustrated  four book series “Seasons of Faith” is based on four of the best Children’s Bible Hour (created by CBH Ministries) radio scripts. The four books that I received for review were:

  • You Can’t Come In (Summer)
  • Braving the Storm (Winter)
  • Race with Midnight (Spring)
  • Seventy Times Seven (Autumn)

Of the four, “Seventy Times Seven”  was my favorite with with “Braving the Storm” a close second because they were the most realistic scenarios for me. “Seventy Times Seven” illustrated the point that we all struggle with — learning to be empathetic and forgiving others in the manner that we wish to be forgiven.

My daughters were split on their favorite. My older daughter enjoyed “You Can’t Come In” while the younger daughter really loved “Race with Midnight” (she’s an animal lover so I think that was the deciding factor). I guess our choices also reflect where we are on our journey of life.

My oldest daughter actually was frightened by “Braving the Storm” because it dealt with real world problems such as losing a job, injuries, etc. At 10 she’s working very hard to remain an innocent child and I guess that story had too much realism for her. I on the other hand appreciated the realism in the last two books. The first two books were a bit to pat for my tastes.

One feature that I thought was such a great idea is the inclusion of the CDs with each story. This allows my younger daughter to follow along with the book and get familiar with new words or just enjoy the story whenever she wants. I love reading with my children, but sometimes time is an issue and the CD can be my surrogate reader.

The four book/CD series costs $40 or you can buy individual books/CDs for $10 a piece. I think this is a good addition  the library of  families who want to inspire their children to follow in Christ’s footsteps.

Khalid Family: 4 stars out of 5

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Maestro Classics: Music to Our Ears

Maestro Classics is a wonderful program designed to brng classical compositions to life by coupling them with traditional stories such as The Tortoise and the Hare (the CD selection that I received) as well as Peter & the Wolf, The Story of Swan Lake, Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel, to name but a few of their offerings.

There were a few things about this musical program that really appealed to me. For one thing I loved the illustrations that were used on the CD case as well as in the instructional booklet that is included. And speaking of instructional booklets, this one is a winner. Although it is small (to fit inside of the CD case) it is chock full of activities, information and discussion points for the entire family.

In The Tortoise and the Hare booklet they have information on the musical instruments that were used on the CD as well as a basic intoduction to musical notation and how it relates to math. My youngest daughter loves animals so the section on the difference between turtles/tortoises and rabbits/hares. There is are crossword puzzles, word scrambles and memory exercises to test how well the listeners were paying attention to the story.

The music is beautiful and played by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. So needless to say, the music is of excellent quality and very pleasing to listen to and sing along with for the kids. My almost ten year old daughter (who initially thought this was for the younger children since she’s such an old lady) really enjoyed the “Pretzel Vendor of Paris” song and played that one over and over again.  My six year old daughter just loved the whole experience (for her it was an experience!) because it hit all of her pleasure buttons: music, singing and storytelling. Even my three year old son took time off from his job of dismantling my home to sit and listen while the CD was playing. So, the kids give it a definite 5 out of 5 stars.

This is a wonderful addition the family regardless of your educational choices. Hearing and connecting to fine music really is an often neglected activity in today’s hurried world. The stories are narrated in a very funny and entertaining way, but for me it was the music that made it all worthwhile. I love the way that music can change the mood of the story so quickly and expertly. No need for long explanations because you just feel it inside and it resonates with your soul.

Maestro Classics Stories in Music series can be purchased at their website as well as in retail stores. The best deals seem to be on the home website, so I’d recommend going there first.  This is a high quality, high class introduction to classical music for the entire family at a very affordable price of $16.98 for single stories and gift sets cost $24.99. They are also adding Spanish language stories to their catalog for all those budding Spanish students and native speakers.

Music IS the universal language and Maestro Classics makes it one that you’ll like to listen to again and again.

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