5/01/2013

Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music


Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music SRV $16.95 US

Montreal, Spring 2013 ~ Throughout history birds have caught the imagination of composers and inspired their creativity. This selection of works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and others introduces children to classical music through the discovery of the melodious similarities between notes produced by instruments such as the flute, the organ, and the harpsichord and the birds’ songs.

In addition to lovely illustrations, the 64-page book features a glossary of musical terms, a short biography of each composer, and a brief description of each bird evoked or mentioned in the composition.
The accompanying CD offers excerpts of 20 different recordings — ranging from The GoldfinchHens and Roosters, and The Dance of the Swans to The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, Piano Concerto N, and Dance of the Firebird — performed by world-class luminaries including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Toronto Chamber Orchestra.
Originally published in Mexico, this English language edition is available in North America for the first time in May. The Secret Mountain, renowned internationally as a publisher of children’s books, videos, and music of the highest quality, has also just released a new collection of enhanced e-books for iPad and iPhone. 
More Details
Hardcover with CD, 64 pages. CD duration: 26 minutes.
Full color illustrations, explanatory notes, composer biographies and a glossary of musical terms.
Recommended ages: 4 and up.
Suggested retail price: $16.95 (US
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For more Information about The Secret Mountain, visit:

Artwork by Cecilia Varela


About the author and illustrator
Ana Gerhard
studied as a concert pianist at the Mexican National Conservatory. She has taught piano for several years and has hosted numerous radio programs dedicated to the promotion of classical music.
Cecilia Varela studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires. She has illustrated several children’s books and received the prestigious Conculta award in Mexico in recognition of her work.
Roland Stringer, publisher at The Secret Mountain, supervised the translation and reorganization of the book for North American audiences.



My Thoughts

Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music
Listen to the Birds is a lovely storybook and CD combo consisting of twenty popular classical pieces all characterized around the avian. The book serves as a music guide for the CD, giving descriptions and details into the stories behind the songs’ meanings and the birds that the composers were inspired by.  

   In the back of the guide, there are three informative sections about the composers, a listening guide and a glossary for musical terms. I found the glossary very helpful, for the longest time I didn’t know what a pizzicato was and I had never even heard of the word cassation until now. The third section, the listening guide, gives further details into what is being played, how it is being played and why it sounds the way it does. Nifty little things like these are delightful for children in educating them into the world of classical music. I find it to be a clever addition to the book.

   Another notable thing about Listen to the Birds, are the pretty, hand painted pictures by Cecilia Varela. Every page is adorned with these strange but wittily charming caricatures of people. My young sister, age seven, liked the illustrations a lot and said they were pretty. I was surprised because she doesn’t usually complement art or take too much notice in it. 

    The CD, which is in a sleeve at the back of the book, runs for twenty-six minutes and is comprised of many beautiful compositions made by world-renowned musicians such as Vivaldi, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and more. There are some fun songs like the Ballet of The Unhatched Chicks and a very cute one called Toy Symphony. These pieces are some of the lighthearted ones amongst some of the more extravagant or eerie songs.  

  In the end, Listen to the Birds is a short, charming foray into the musical world that would make a wonderful addition to any young child’s music or book library. I recommend it for anyone interested in introducing their children to the magic of classical music or to kids who already have an interest in it. If neither, well---perhaps it would  be a perfect gift for those whom fancy birds.

Social Media: Twitter & Facebook

Special Reviewer: Fawn Carter


Thank you,
~GAhome2mom & Family
 http://lovingheartdesigns.blogspot.com/
Disclaimer: Loving Heart Designs received Listen to Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music through Beth Blenz-Clucas of Sugar Mountain PR through The Secret Mountain.
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