Story of the Orchestra

Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music!

Robert Levine
Illustrated by Meredith Hamilton

Eye-catching illustrations, engaging text and delightful musical selections on the accompanying 70-minute CD lead children ages 8 to 12 (and parents, too!) on an exciting and educational tour through the instruments and music of the orchestra. Illustrated in exquisite and colorful detail with over 100 original drawings and photographs, this package is a fun and exciting musical journey for children.

The engaging text is broken into three sections: an introduction to each instrument of the orchestra from the cello to the timpani, the stories of famous composers from Bach to Stravinsky and an explanation of different musical styles from Baroque to Modern. Each step of the way, children can listen to actual musical examples of what they are learning about. Young readers will hear the sound of an actual violin as they study the instrument and enjoy the playful tune of a Mozart minuet as they read about the composer's precocious exploits as a child.

Listen to the greatest works in classical music and hear each instrument of the orchestra and learn fun facts about the music, composers and musicians, including:

  • Bach wasn't famous until 100 years after he died
  • Some people think that years of playing the oboe can make you crazy
  • Beethoven was totally deaf by the time he wrote the famous 9th Symphony
  • The contrabassoon would be 16 feet tall if unwound
  • Copland composed at night and on weekends and had a day job as an insurance agent

Meredith Hamilton graduated from Brown University and has an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Formerly an art director at Newsweek and Time, she illustrated all the books in the Child's Introduction series, among other books, and her work can be found in magazines and animations as well. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and three children.

Robert Levine is an internationally known music and travel writer whose work has appeared in dozens of publications. He was the co-editor of Records' Classical Pulse! Magazine, helped launch and was the Senior Editor-in-chief of, a world wide web site devoted to every aspect of classical music and musicians. He attends his operas and symphonies in New York.

Available now from -

Barnes & Noble