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Video/DVD Review:    The A to Z Symphony: Music Appreciation 101

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Children's Video/DVD Review: The A to Z Symphony: Music Appreciation 101

Classical Fun Music

Released: 2004

Reviewed: July 2004

Our Recommended Age: 1-5

Our Rating: A



















This simple but effective video/DVD cycles through each letter of the alphabet as classical music—from Beethoven to Vivaldi—plays and children are treated to demonstrations of words that begin with each letter. It's a fun (and educational) sampling of fine classical music, and offers plenty of opportunities to both increase vocabulary and develop letter recognition skills.

Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata supports beautiful aerials of the planet Earth and a view of the spinning globe in the "E is for Earth" vignette. The lively, almost frenzied, Russian Dance by Tchaikovsky plays as children demonstrate the word "jump" in the letter J vignette. Flags, fountains, and fireworks in the letter F demonstration are fittingly set to the dramatic Tchaikovsky's The 1812 Overture.

What is extra special about this video is that each classical music excerpt is clearly named, and the letters of the alphabet "stick" to the screen throughout each vignette. Words in capital letters for each demonstrated word appear as well. There is no special effort made to actually teach letter recognition (such as the little lessons in videos like So Smart Letters, for example), but that's not exactly what this video is about. The A to Z Symphony is mostly designed to encourage children to appreciate music, and that it does very well! The addition of letters and opportunities to learn a little about the world around us are simply added bonuses. Very cute!

The DVD edition allows viewers to select vignettes (each of the 26 vignettes run for one minute) letter by letter, if desired.


Our Rating:




[For more information or to buy: Go to Classical Fun Music website]


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Reviewed July 2004
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