Customer Reviews: Can You Hear It?
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on November 22, 2006
This book has a collection of 26 paintings and a CD. Each artwork comes with a question, an item to locate on a page. After the item is found you play the CD and try to hear particular thing displayed on a page (like fish swimming in a lake, or bubbles rising to the surface of the water, etc). There are also clues to which instrument will play a particular musical effect that you will be looking for, so you can find it. At the end of the book, there is a short description of each artwork and each music piece that comes with it.

We have enjoyed the book very much, and would recommend it to families with young children who are ready for introduction of art and music. The music pieces are all classics such as Vivaldi, Saint-Saens, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, etc. My kids are 8 and 9.
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on January 9, 2007
What inspires an artist? a composer? Why does music "speak" to so many different people? This little publication is a painless introduction to fine art and symphonic music. This is I Spy with a twist. You are asked to gaze at beautiful and interesting artwork while playing different orchestral tracks on the enclosed CD. "Can you hear the marching knights?" "Can you hear the mountain stream?" "Can you hear the rattling skeletons dancing?" The book and CD open with a lovely "meet the instruments" section, which, in itself, is worth the price. I think this book is best enjoyed with a parent and a non-personal CD player but a ten year-old with head phones could zip through all thirteen pieces independently. You might challenge that child to create her own artwork to a piece of her choosing. Or you could plunk a three year-old on your lap and look at just one or two masterpieces at a time. My eight year-old uber athlete loves it and now insists on doing his drawing to music. This book can be enjoyed in many ways, on many levels. It will add spice to a gallery or symphony outing (or even a sibling's band concert!) and with such a wealth of material out there, I sincerely hope a sequel is in the works.
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on August 26, 2008
I absolutely adore this book. As a preschool music teacher, I search for ways to make classical music interesting and fun for young children, and I think this book has done it. With colorful, beautiful artwork and fun musical selections, children love listening closely to "find" the items that are "described" in the music. For young children like mine, I pull out this book occasionally to work on critical listening skills by putting on one or two of the pieces at a time. The only thing I would have liked better is a little more variety in the musical pieces. Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Carnival of the Animals are both used 2-3 times.
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on May 27, 2010
This book is a great idea, but in practice I didn't find it to be very good. My daughter and I do a lot of listening to classical music and imagining what we think is happening, etc., so I was excited about the concept, but in the end I prefer doing just that with our imaginations rather than trying to juggle a book of art and a cd player. I found it "awkward" to change the song for each page, and my daughter, three, listened for a few seconds, declared "yes I hear the bees" and then, ok let's move onto the next song. (I recommend getting a basic kids classical cd that organizes songs by themes like animals, some even have introductory poems to help the kids imagine the composer's intent-- then they can dance and pretend away!) Integrating artwork was a great idea but in practice it seems "forced"-- Maybe for those who like a more "flashcard" approach just for exposing their child to art wouldn't mind it. I didn't care for some of the selections of "scarier" scenes, such as the art featuring skeletons paired with the fossil composition, or another with sort of odd looking knights going into battle (I'm no pacifist, just sensitive to my three year old daughter's sensibilities- my daughter didn't say she was scared, but I saw the facial expression and read between the lines when she said she liked it but liked to listen to this one "with YOU"). I gave it three stars because it might work for some, and because I did like having a sort of guide to interpreting the music. There is a much more detailed introduction than I expected, with descriptions of various instruments. You might try it-- other people seemed to indicate that their children liked it...I just found it a bit awkward.
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on January 18, 2009
I teach first and second grade music. I bought this book so that I would having something extra to do in the case that we had some left over time in class, or if I needed a sub who was not knowledgeable about music.

The book includes recordings from "Carnival of the Animals" as well as "An American in Paris," "Flight of the Bumble Bee," "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies," and many other programmatic favorites.

The kids love listening and acting out along with the music. My students love this book and ask to read it all the time. AND it's simple enough to use that you do not need to know anything about music to teach with it - so it's a great recommendation if you have a substitute teacher, or if you have parents who want to encourage their children in the area of music.

I've already asked our school librarian to get a few copies for our library.

Its a great book for any music teacher or parents who wants to encourage their children's active listening skills!
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on July 21, 2007
This elegant picture book and Cd combo provide adult and child partners at any level of maturity with a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the symphony concert hall at the same time. Page after page provide opportunites for delight,discussion and description. We danced, we laughed and we were amused ,even deliciously frightened, by the music and visual art. Brilliantly done, and available to experience during any season of the year, again and again.
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on March 22, 2012
Our 4-year-old is the artist and biologist, but our 3-year-old is more physical and loves music. I was looking for something specifically for him and his love of music, and I came across "Can You Hear It?" on Amazon. I'm so glad I bought it! Each piece of music is short, but focused, and a little child can easily find the things he's listening for. Plus, my boys love to play and dance along with the music, bouncing like kangaroos for "The Carnival of the Animals: Finale" by Camille Saint-Saens, buzzing like bees during Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee", or ice skating during Vivaldi's "Winter (Allegro)". Their favorite by far, though, is the "Comic Duet for Two Cats," attributed to Rossini (who also composed "La Cenerentola", which I love to watch/listen to). Now my boys are MEE-OWWWing to opera and loving it!

The artwork is also wonderfully chosen, and visually arresting. Plenty for the boys to look at, and they do. I take the CD and book out at bedtime, but first thing when they wake up, they have the set and are dancing and meowing and reading the book. Furthermore, they've begun listening to other classical CDs I have, which means they are benefiting from the introduction as I'd hoped they would. But nothing could match the delight we take as parents watching our boys laugh and play and romp - in some startlingly funny ways - to classical music.

Note: One of the selections is "Billy the Kid: Gun Battle," by Aaron Copland, which replicates the sound of a pitched gun battle. If you have objections to gun play, then you will like to know about this before you purchase. However, the rest of the book (I think) certainly outweighs that in terms of value and enjoyment. Of course, my boys pretend to shoot marshmallows at each other (as well as zucchini, rutabagas, carrots, cookies, and pigeon feathers), so... yeah.
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VINE VOICEon February 7, 2010
This short book begins with a quick overview of a few orchestral instruments, and then proceeds to present 13 paintings covering a broad range of genres. The book is accompanied by a CD which includes a classical music selection for each of the 13 paintings.

The reader is asked to imagine that certain elements in the music correspond to certain elements in each painting. We felt that this correspondence was usually pretty good, but some cases seemed to be a stretch, so we were sometimes a bit disappointed and felt that we could have come up with better and more correspondences.

But the concept behind this book is certainly good and innovative, and makes this book a unique resource, so I recommend it to parents interested in introducing their kids to both paintings and classical music.

Another good resource to consider is Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! by Robert Levine, which provides a much more comprehensive introduction to orchestral instruments.
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on October 22, 2008
This book is great for bringing the artwork alive! My kids favorites are the bumblebee and skeleton song and picture. Very well done.
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on June 20, 2010
I got this book for my 4 and 6 year old children because they love the "Can You Find It" series books. Like those books, the works of art in this book are beautiful and the music is delightful. However, unless your children have a music background, it can be difficult for them to comprehend the sounds the book asks them to listen for. The are asked to identify various solos, ensembles, scales, etc. I believe this is a little too advanced for preschoolers, but would probably be well suited for older children, particularly those with a strong interest in music.
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