We’ve been listening to books on record during story time. Peter and the Wolf was a perfect introduction to the different instruments and identifying the instruments with the character’s in the story.
Peter and the Wolf is a composition by Sergei Prokofiev written in 1936 after his return to the Soviet Union. It is a children’s story (with both music and text by Prokofiev), spoken by a narrator accompanied by the orchestra.
Each character in the story has a particular instrument and a musical theme, or leitmotif :
- Bird : flute
- Duck : oboe
- Cat : clarinet
- Grandfather : bassoon
- Wolf : 3 French horns
- Hunters: timpani and bass drum (The hunters’ theme is actually introduced by the woodwinds)
- Peter : string instruments
The kids loved listening for each leitmotif and would yell out “It’s the wolf” when they heard the French horns or “It’s the cat” when they heard the bassoon.