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Monday, November 5, 2007

Review: Beethoven's Wig

Beethoven's Wig is a lot of fun for kids and adults. Classical pieces are set to lyrics that are silly but at the same time educational.

My top favorites on this album are Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Haydn's Surprise Symphony. Mozart's piece has been renamed, Please Don't Play Your Violin at Night, which fits perfectly with the main melody of the song and carries out a conversation between Mozart and his wife. Mozart wants to play into the wee hours of the night while his wife just wants to get some sleep! Haydn's Symphony has been renamed as Haydn's Great Surprise. Haydn wrote this piece intending to "surprise" his audience and wake up all the sleepy-heads who so rudely fell asleep at his concerts and I love that the lyrics to this song tell that story!

Heidi's favorite, our four-year old, is Offenbach's Can Can. It is sung with a french accent and has been renamed, Can You Can Can? I suspect that this one became her favorite after I actually did the Can-Can for her. She has quite the imagination and I just hope that she doesn't see a line-up of me doing the Can Can every time she hears it.

Our six-year old's favorite is the Pizzicato (from Sylvia) by Delibes. This song reminds me of Shel Silverstein's Silvia Stout would not take the garbage out..., which may have been their intention. The revised title is Drip, Drip, Drip and tells the story of a girl named Sylvia who left the water running.

This is a wonderful way to learn a little about classical pieces. I'm sure that every time my daughters hear these pieces in the future, they will be reminded of the stories that go with them and then remember the names of each piece. I know I will. What a valuable tool this is.

* I must confess that after a time, the lead singer gets under my skin. He does not sound like a professionally trained singer and I believe he does this for the love of the music and the love of teaching children about music. That being said, it's easy to move on to a different CD for a time. And after a short break, I can be ready for more Beethoven's Wig. However, my girls don't seem to tire of him at all.


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