Max & Maestro

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Max & Maestro TV Poster Image
Charming series teaches music appreciation across genres.

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Educational Value

Brief lessons about music, musicians, and music appreciation. 

Positive Messages

Classical music is just as relevant and beautiful today as it was centuries ago. Contemporary musicians can learn how to create and perform better music by understanding classical music. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Max's mom, a friend, and El Maestro are very supportive of him from the beginning of his classical music journey. Max is afraid of what his other friends might think, but they are more open-minded than he believes them to be.

Violence & Scariness

Some teasing and insults between kids during soccer matches. 

Sexy Stuff

Features original music performed by Daniel Barenboim. The original (nondubbed) version fo the series features songs performed by French rapper Akhenaton. Bach, Chopin, Mozart, other great composers are discussed. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Max & Maestro is an animated French series (dubbed into English) about a kid rapper who also loves classical music. There's some mild taunting during soccer matches between kids, and the main character, Max, fears rejection thanks to some peer pressure, but these issues are addressed in constructive ways. It also offers some brief music lessons that kids can easily grasp. 

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What's the story?

The French animated series MAX & MAESTRO features a young rapper who finds his passion in classical music. Max and his friends love soccer and their band, the Ninja Rappin' Crew. They also think that classical music is for losers. But when Max overhears a classical tune being played on a piano by an odd old man, he finds himself unexpectedly inspired by the music. Soon Max finds himself taking lessons from the stranger, who turns out to be pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, aka "El Maestro." Max loves what he's learning but does his best to keep his lessons a secret from most of his band mates. 

Is it any good?

The intelligent and endearing series celebrates classical music by presenting it in a way that is relevant to young, contemporary music lovers. Lessons about classical pieces and musicians are brief and to the point but offer tidbits of music education that are easy to understand. Much of what is taught is also applied to the kids' rap and hip-hop performances, demonstrating the connection between the two genres of music. Although the English-dubbed version of the show lacks the original voices of Daniel Barenboim and popular French hip-hop artist Akhenaton, Max & Maestro is still charming and fun. Best of all, it successfully reminds us that music is a universal language, and many different kinds can be appreciated by all walks of life. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons Max is afraid to tell his friends that he loves classical music. How does Max & Maestro address the peer pressure he faces when he initially talks about it? What about later on?  

  • If you were in Max's position, would you tell your friends right away? Do you believe your friends will dislike you if you like something they don't? How would you handle it if they did?

  • What are some of the ways classical music influences rap and hip-hop? Is this influence obvious? Can classical musicians be influenced by contemporary music in similar ways?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love music

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