One of the ongoing battles between the brothers in this house is what we listen to in the car. John always wants “story” (whatever audiobook to which we are currently listening). David always wants “music” (various options that are probably most importantly NOT the story).
It’s gotten to the point that as soon as they get in the car one of them will try and shout out first (STORY! or MUSIC!) in an attempt to have their choice win. H. and I have resorted to listening to one on the way to a destination and one on the way home.
I’d like to train David to listen to audiobooks a bit more. I think it’s been a really great thing for John and although I think David does like the music, I also believe his biggest resistance to the story is just that he wants to do what his brother doesn’t. Part of the problem is that the books John is listening to now are well above David’s comprehension level and so I can understand his boredom with them.
So imagine my excitement when studying Mike Mulligan last week I remembered this CD I’d had in storage for several years. It’s part of a series by Maestro Classics that pairs a classic children’s story with classical music, Peter and the Wolf style (in fact Peter and the Wolf is one of the CDs they have done).
The CD is excellent. The first track has a narrator reading the story with the music woven in to the telling ( bagpipes play when Mike comes on the scene, trombones make the sound of airplanes, percussion plays for the climatic scene of Mary Ann digging the town cellar). The next tracks tell a little background about Virginia Lee Burton (very interesting to me, short enough that the boys didn’t lose interest) and then describe how the music was written to help tell the story. Then the story is narrated again but this time with the encouragement to listen for the instruments and musical styles you have just learned about.
Both boys enjoyed this but especially David. He’s asked to listen to it several times. It didn’t totally create brotherly harmony in our car (now I hear “STORY!” “NO, MARY ANN!” when we get in), but it was a good way for David to start enjoying listening to a story and for John to expand his horizons and enjoy music a bit more.
Maestro Classics has several other CD’s that I might just have to check out since this one was such a big hit.
*Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! (ESV)