Combining nursery rhymes with classical music has been down before, but I don't know if anyone has taken it this far. But it makes so much sense in this engaging new disc it makes you wonder why it took so long.
"Mother Goose Meets Father Bach" is the brainchild of violinist Monique Mead, who, in addition to being a talented musician and teacher, is the wife of PSO concertmaster Andres Cardenes.
"Mother Goose meets Father Bach" offers the imagined meeting between the two icons, with each teaching the other -- and children -- their respective crafts. Mead is Mother Goose and actor Gregory Lehane is Bach. The music is Bach's Orchestral Suites, taken from a previous recording by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. The lessons are the likes of alliteration, articulation and pairing.
The concept is simple enough, to stimulate language skills of young-uns (no not to make them smart) by the combined use of rhyming and a structured musical language -- a sort of dual use of grammar. Here is a bit of the opening track, with the famous "Badinerie." The characters generally talk and sing on one track and then the music repeats alone on the next, so your child and you can match Mother Goose and Bach on their own. Some of the tracks/lessons (such as Bach explaining Rondo form) are for older children, but young kids will still enjoy the music.
You can buy the disc at various online outlets, or by visiting Mead's Mother Goose and Father Bach Web site. It is available locally at Borders Books in Shadyside (but, alas, not at Curtain Call anymore).