In our household, Leopold Stokowski is a rock star. Leopold conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in the 1940s and is the conductor featured in Fantasia. Mason adores this man. In fact, he’s made him into a kind of “invisible friend.” Mason’s imaginary friends are actually interactions he has with me, while I’m “in character.” Such as:
Mason: Who is that I hear knocking at the door?
Me: (trying to guess, because when I ask him he says, "you have to tell me!") Is it Leopold Stokowski?
Mason: (hopping with excitement) Yes! Hello, Leopold!
Me (as Leopold): Hello, Mason. How are you today?
Mason: Good. Do you know what I learned today? I can conduct jazz! (Mason then demonstrates by standing very still and waving his hands around very frenetically.)
Me (as Leopold): That’s great. You’re ready to be a conductor like me.
Mason: Do you like the zoo, Leopold Stokowski? (or another completely unrelated question, which then continues in several minutes worth of conversation with “Leopold.”)
Mason has generally been very interested in the music of Fantasia, to the point of quizzing me about which instruments might be playing at any given moment. The only draw back is that my ear is not very well trained in this regard. I can pick out strings from brass, but when it comes to specifics I end up doing a lot of guessing. People have suggested Peter and the Wolf as a good story that helps break down various instruments, and also another friend (thanks Paul!) suggested checking out various concertos from the library that feature various instruments. We’ve also tuned the car radio to the classical station so that as we drive around doing our various errands, we can listen to “Fantasia-like” music.