Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Peter and the Wolf

We just finished Peter and the Wolf. We read the book and listened to a shortened version over the span of two days. The version we used was from Music for Little People a Celebration of Classical Music and it was approximately 30 minutes long. The 'regular' version is much longer (I found this one that was over an hour long.) There are many versions of the book as well. From the library I picked out the version by Vladimir Vagin and also one by Michele Lemieux. (There is even one in graphic novel form by Miguelanzo Prado.) I wouldn't recommend starting w/ the graphic novel (aka...comic book) as it may direct attention away from the music but if there are several versions at the library, pick them all up and see which art your child likes better. If you know your art (and I don't) you can talk about how the drawings or paintings are made, with what type of media etc.... That will be for next time. I provide the links as a guide but just go to your library's website and type in Peter and the Wolf.

I took some pictures while Andrew was listening and thought that would be so sweet to post here. As I review them I see that they will provide some comic relief. But he truly was engrossed in the book.

footnote: Peter and the Wolf is performed by an orchestra and sometimes read by a narrator. Each character is portrayed by a different instrument. It is great listening practice to pause and ask what instrument the child hears.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hymns for a Kid's Heart

I bought Hymns for a Kid's Heart- volume two. Andrew does not like 'pretty music' and this was no exception. He insisted I stop the CD when we played it. The book however is MUCH more than that. It has mini-biographies on each composer and a personal story of them- very much a living book. I just started reading the first one aloud to him while we were eating lunch one day. The composer was Joachim Neander who wrote Praise to the Lord, the Almighty. Apparently Joachim ran with a 'bad crowd' until he accepted Jesus at which time he prayed for new friends...and got them! The next day Andrew and I were 'playing people' and Andrew mentioned that one of his characters was like Joachim. It took me awhile for me to figure out what he was saying...first, neither of us knows how to pronounce Joachim and second, I hadn't remembered the story. But Andrew was able to tell me what he was talking about...by referencing with his eyes while saying "You know... THAT book." That was a sweet little referencing CM moment all wrapped up into one little package;)

So, we will continue to read the book and sneak in a hymn or two. He did enjoy when I tried playing it on the piano. (The book has the sheet music included.) Our church does not use hymns. I am not sure how you would classify what we sing ...Praise and Worship I guess. But it is good to have a go at all different types of music.

By the way...if you go on youtube you will find many variations of this hymn. Here are just three. It is a great way to listen to the way different instruments sound. One warning on Youtube...please do not let your child watch alone. There is no telling what 'recommended' videos pop up after the first one you watch.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty- church bells