A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there is nothing to worry about in this album's content beyond the usual Disney tie-ins. Kids are even encouraged to work together.
What's the story?
Research shows that a young child's ability to perceive and distinguish phonetic sounds is enhanced by singing and engaging in rhythmic movement; and active music-making during the school years can strengthen abstract reasoning skills. LITTLE EINSTEINS -- MUSICAL MISSIONS includes four interactive musical stories based on episodes from the show. It provides music-theory vocabulary along with orchestral punctuation. "The Birthday Balloons" (with music from "Eine Kleine Nachtmusic"), "Rocket Safari" (with music from "Flight of the Bumblebee"), "Pirate's Treasure" (with music from "Carmen Suite #1"), and "The Golden Pyramid" (with music from "Hungarian Dance #5") are narrated by the Little Einsteins TV characters.
Is it any good?
Well-intentioned as can be, the whole effort comes off as three parts wholesome fun mixed with one part condescension -- and a dash of trying too hard. It's a good enough jumping-off point, but there's a squeaky quality to the narration that is likely to drive parents a little nuts. Why not provide the real thing, instead? Find some wonderful, accessible classical music without any chipmunky narration, and encourage your kids to make up their own stories.