Toddle Waddle

Peter and the Wolf
June 14, 2010, 5:11 pm
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When I was in about kindergarten-third grade, we would watch Peter and the Wolf at least once a year. It was the story of a boy’s journey in a meadow with his friends, a cat, a duck and a bird. A wolf enters into the meadow and the adventure begins! It’s set to music by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev who actually wrote the story as part of Central Children’s Theater in Moscow’s attempt to introduce music in a fun way to children very early in life. Each character is represented by an instrument so it’s a great way to introduce children to what sounds an instrument makes. Personally, my son likes to make the noises that the animals make.

Now the version I watched was made by Disney in 1946, about ten years after Prokofiev wrote the piece. It used the old school style of animation which I love so much. The video I rented for Asher was a Disney remake that was made in 1996. It offers an introduction that provides a little more back story. The cast includes Kirstie Alley as the narrator and Lloyd Bridges who plays Peter who is now a grandfather. They are telling the story to Kirstie Alley’s son, who is also named Peter. The movie is only about 45 minutes long but serves both to entertain children but also to help young ones appreciate classical music.

I was a vocal performance major in college and so cultivating a love for “classical” music in both of my children is so important for me. There are so many wonderful pieces that kids can listen to, dance to and play to. In fact, at my house we often play classical music in the background while we are playing. It helps improve Asher mood sometimes when he is particularly cranky.

So I encourage you all to go out and rent either version of the movie. They are both great examples of how music can be fun for kids.


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