When I was a young girl I had the pleasure of experiencing The Nutcracker Ballet at Fox Theater in Detroit. I will never forget it as long as I live and remain truly thankful to the wonderful woman that saw the importance of exposing young people to true works of art and took the time to share her love of music and dance with me personally. It was my first live production, and it was amazingly incredible! The story of a Clara, the Nutcracker Prince, and the Rat King is a sheer delight of imagination and wonder. Unlike the original production, no intermission is needed for this one-hour adaptation. Even if you've never seen or listened to The Nutcracker in any form you will surely enjoy this adaptation in great part due to the wonderful narration provided by Jim Weiss. Not to mention the musical perfection of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Like any good product preferred by homeschoolers and educators alike, Maestro Classics provides supplementary resources that complement this production quite nicely. The insert itself provides a program so you can follow along with the acts and scenes as they are performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and narrated by Jim Weiss.
Included within the insert is a little history on the art of ballet, the harp, and Tchaikovsky himself as well as a musical snippet, Overture to The Nutcracker, and a couple of fun activities. Also, tucked right inside the front cover of the case you will find a web address that leads you to additional educational materials. There are such an abundance of resources associated with this CD that one could easily put together an entire unit study. There are countless possibilities for the incorporation of this into an educational plan. There are even resources for teachers of dance. An MP3 version is available as well.
The kids and I enjoyed listening to The Nutcracker on CD a few times already. We're sure to enjoy it for years to come. It was fun to explore online videos that elaborated more on the history of the story, the composer, and the actual production. I was disappointed to discover that the original story I viewed as a child is not available on DVD, but we do have plans to enjoy a newer adaptation as a family this week. The story just never gets old. There is such value in music for children, especially classic pieces. If you've not yet introduced such things into your homeschool this is the absolute perfect place to start. Children and adults of all ages are sure to enjoy the talent, history, and creativity that all came together perfectly to create a musical memory, maybe even a tradition, for your family.