Kids Commute

Join Classical IPR's Kate Botello each weekday morning at about 7:40 as she picks stories and sounds from the Classical world your children will love. She wants to inspire your family with the love of Classical music.

Here's the basic idea - it's likely you're listening to Classical IPR in the car while driving your kids to school. If so, they're what we like to call the, "captive audience." Kate selects music for their education and (hopefully!) enjoyment.

On the Kids Commute, we explore Classical music by different themes - Mermaids, Opera, Elephants - everything you can think of! We'll explore ballets, their stories, and the music that goes along with them ("Sleeping Beauty," and "Cinderella," for instance), along with time-honored classics like Sergei Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf."

Join us weekday mornings for the Kids Commute - no Kid or Commute required!

Answer our weekly Quizlet question correctly and win a Kids Commute Prize Pack! (By the way - if your kiddo is a particular genius with the quizlets - each kid is only eligible to win the prize pack once a month.) Text your answer with your name and address to (231) 237-7482!

Kate loves to hear from kids. Send her feedback, or make a request.

Hear your kids' voices on the Kids Commute. Find out how.

Happy Monday! Welcome to Nutcracker Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

Today, we'll begin our journey into the story of Peter Tchaikovsky's famous holiday ballet. Clara and Fritz's godfather, the magician Drosselmeyer, is a mysterious fellow...but he brings terrific presents!

KC 60 (Encore Presentation)
"The Nutcracker"
"Entrance of Drosselmeyer and Distribution of Presents"
Peter Tchaikovsky

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Orff Week - Friday! Pictured today: a 1995 postage stamp depicting Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."
1995 Briefmarke (German postage stamp)

Happy Friday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to the final day of Orff Week with special guest Lynne Tobin on IPR's Kids Commute!

Orff instruments are special musical instruments created just for kids by composer Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman in what they called "Schulwerk." You may be familiar with Orff instruments - you use a lot of them in elementary school music classrooms.

Lynne Tobin is a cellist and music teacher. She'll tell us all about the Orff method and play some of the neat music that goes with it - all of it performed by elementary-aged kids.

Today, we'll hear a delightful rendition of "The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" and Orff's popular, "Street Song."

Congrats to our winner for the Sleigh Ride contest! If you can't make it to the concert to cheer on your fellow Kids Commuter, never fear - you can listen live tonight at 7pm on Classical IPR!

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Thanks so much to our special guest this week, music teacher and cellist Lynne Tobin!
Karin Willman Copyright 2010- A la Carte Photography

Welcome to Day Four of Orff Week with special guest Lynne Tobin on IPR's Kids Commute!

Orff instruments are special musical instruments created just for kids by composer Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman in what they called "Schulwerk." You may be familiar with Orff instruments - you use a lot of them in elementary school music classrooms.

Lynne Tobin is a cellist and music teacher. She'll tell us all about the Orff educational style and play some of the neat music that goes with it - all of it performed by elementary-aged kids.

Important note, Kids Commuters - this Friday night, December 14th, is Interlochen's "Sounds of the Season" holiday concert. Instead of a Quizlet this week, you can enter to win the opportunity to play the clapper onstage with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band and Choir during Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride!" The prize includes your star turn and tickets for a couple of your family members to join you at the sold-out concert. Kids Commuter Gwyneth won it last year - will it be you this year? Text the word "sleigh" to 231-237-7482 to be entered in a drawing to win! We'll draw the name and notify the winner on Thursday at noon, so make sure you've got your Friday night clear!

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Three of Orff Week with special guest Lynne Tobin on IPR's Kids Commute!

Orff instruments are special musical instruments created just for kids by composer Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman in what they called "Schulwerk." You may be familiar with Orff instruments - you use a lot of them in elementary school music classrooms.

Lynne Tobin is a cellist and music teacher. She'll tell us all about the Orff method and play some of the neat music that goes with it - all of it performed by elementary-aged kids.

Important note, Kids Commuters - this Friday night, December 14th, is Interlochen's "Sounds of the Season" holiday concert. Instead of a Quizlet this week, you can enter to win the opportunity to play the clapper onstage with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band and Choir during Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride!" The prize includes your star turn and tickets for a couple of your family members to join you at the sold-out concert. Kids Commuter Gwyneth won it last year - will it be you this year? Text the word "sleigh" to 231-237-7482 to be entered in a drawing to win! We'll draw the name and notify the winner on Thursday at noon, so make sure you've got your Friday night clear!

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Two of Orff Week with special guest Lynne Tobin on IPR's Kids Commute!

Orff instruments are special musical instruments created just for kids by composer Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman in what they called "Schulwerk." You may be familiar with Orff instruments - you use a lot of them in elementary school music classrooms.

Lynne Tobin is a cellist and music teacher. She'll tell us all about the Orff method and play some of the neat music that goes with it - all of it performed by elementary-aged kids.

Important note, Kids Commuters - this Friday night, December 14th, is Interlochen's "Sounds of the Season" holiday concert. Instead of a Quizlet this week, you can enter to win the opportunity to play the clapper onstage with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band and Choir during Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride!" The prize includes your star turn and tickets for a couple of your family members to join you at the sold-out concert. Kids Commuter Gwyneth won it last year - will it be you this year? Text the word "sleigh" to 231-237-7482 to be entered in a drawing to win! We'll draw the name and notify the winner on Thursday at noon, so make sure you've got your Friday night clear!

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Happy Monday, Kids Commuters, and welcome to a new week of episodes!

This week, we're learning about Orff instruments - special musical instruments created just for kids by composer Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman in what they called "Schulwerk." You may be familiar with Orff instruments - you use a lot of them in elementary school music classrooms!

Our special guest is cellist and music teacher, Lynne Tobin. She'll tell us all about the Orff method and play some of the neat music that goes with it!

Important note, Kids Commuters - this Friday night, December 14th, is Interlochen's "Sounds of the Season" holiday concert. Instead of a Quizlet this week, you can enter to win the opportunity to play the clapper onstage with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band and Choir during Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride!" The prize includes your star turn and tickets for a couple of your family members to join you at the sold-out concert. Kids Commuter Gwyneth won it last year - will it be you this year? Text the word "sleigh" to 231-237-7482 to be entered in a drawing to win! We'll draw the name and notify the winner on Thursday at noon, so make sure you've got your Friday night clear!

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to the final day of Erik Satie Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

We hope you've enjoyed this week with the delightfully loony French composer, Erik Satie.

Today, we'll answer our Quizlet, and hear a mini "hunting" piece that Satie wrote...for a crustacean!

KC 259
"Embryon Desséchés  - Popophthalma" ("Dessicated [dried-out] Embryos")
Alexandre Tharaud, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Four of Erik Satie Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we're listening to music from, and stories about, the wonderfully kooky French composer, Erik Satie.

Today, we'll hear his version of a "Kids' Menu" - music written for children to be able to play! As usual, all the pieces have interesting names.

KC 258
"Menus Propos Enfantins" ("Menus for Children")
Erik Satie
Pierre Lanieau, guitarist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Three of Erik Satie Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we're listening to music written by the delightful oddball French composer, Erik Satie.

Today, music from a ballet that wound up getting Satie sent to jail! Keep your ears open for the weird instruments that director Jean Cocteau requested for the score (Pistols! Typewriters!).

KC 257
Parade: Petite Fille Americaine ("Little American Girl")
Erik Satie
Antal Dorati/Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Hey there Kids Commuters, and welcome to Day Two of Erik Satie Week!

This week, we're listening to music by the wonderfully odd French composer, Erik Satie. We'll hear his music and all kinds of fun stories about him.

Today, we'll hear Satie's big "hit" - a song he wrote for cabaret, called "Je te Veux" ("I Want You"). A cabaret is a nightclub where people eat or have drinks while performers make music - and Satie didn't really want people to know he worked there!

KC 256
"Je te veux" ("I want you")
Erik Satie
Klara Kormendi, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Happy Monday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to the first day of Erik Satie Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we're listening to the works of the delightfully kooky French composer Erik Satie.  Not only is his music terrific, but he was a real character, and we have tons of great stories about him.

Today, we'll hear Satie's most famous composition for piano.

KC 255
Erik Satie
Gymnopedie No. 1
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Happy Friday! We hope you’ve enjoyed “Guitar Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. All week long, Matthew Cochran, instructor of guitar at Interlochen Center for the Arts, has highlighted some fantastic guitar pieces and introduced us to different techniques used while playing guitar.

Our final selection for the week is a piece written for twelve guitars. In “Electric Counterpoint” the soloist pre-records several parts using both electric guitar and bass guitar and then plays the final guitar part along with the recording. We learn that this is a minimalist composition, and composer Steve Reich takes a small amount of musical material and makes a BIG composition out of it. All of this, plus the answer to this week’s quizlet in today’s episode of Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio.

KC 254
"Electric Counterpoint" third movement "Fast"
Composer: Steve Reich
Guitarist: Pat Metheny and friends

Here's today's Kids Commute:


It’s Thursday, and we’ve made it most of the way through “Guitar Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. Special guest Matthew Cochran, instructor of guitar at Interlochen Center for the Arts, has provided us with this week’s musical selection. So far he’s taught us what a rasgueado and a Bartok pizzicato is, and demonstrated some Bach counterpoint on the guitar. What does today’s episode have in store for us?

¡El flamenco es música hermosa! Flamenco is beautiful music! Learn the history of flemenco, a form of Spanish folk music. Matt also introduces us to guitarist Paco de Lucia, and how he uses both improvisation (musicians making things up as they go) and combine it with dance forms that have been around for hundreds of years.

KC 253
Llanos de Real
Paco de Lucia, Composer/Guitarist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


We’re in the middle of “Guitar Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. We continue with our special guest, Matthew Cochran, instructor of guitar at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Matt has made all of the musical selections for the week and gives us insights into what to listen for and how these pieces are constructed.

In today’s musical selection, we hear a piece composed for four guitars. “Cuban Landscape with Rain”. Matt walks us through the musical story of a summer storm moving through Cuba. Not only do we get to listen to a great musical selection, we also learn what a Bartok pizzicato is.

KC 252
"Cuban Landscape with Rain"
Leo Brouwer
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet

Here's today's Kids Commute:


It’s day two of “Guitar Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. All week long, we’re celebrating one of the most popular instruments of all time with special guest, Matthew Cochran. Matt is instructor of guitar at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and an all-around great guy.

Today’s musical selection was composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. We learn what a bouree is, and we get a great demonstration of counterpoint, which means “voice against voice”. All of this plus a hint to help you figure out the answer to this week’s quizlet.

KC 251
Johann Sebastian Bach
"Bouree" from E minor Lute Suite
Sharon Isbin, Guitarist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome back to Kids Commute. Our team hopes you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday. It’s Monday, and that means a new theme for this week’s episodes of Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. It’s “Guitar Week”, and we have a special guest hosting with Kate Botello - Matthew Cochran, instructor of guitar at Interlochen Center for the Arts!

Today’s musical selection was composed by Isaac Albeniz. Matt teaches us that there are not just one, but two great musicians named John Williams, what a rasgueado is, and also provides us with interesting things to listen for in Albeniz’s composition, “Asturias/Leyenda”. Of course, we have a brand new quizlet to introduce to you. Do you think you’ll know the answer right away, or will you need a hint? Either way, we’ve got you covered.

KC 250
Isaac Albeniz
Asturias/Leyenda
John Williams, Guitar

Here's today's Kids Commute:


"The Composer is Dead" by Lemony Snicket. Today, Part Five. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Book cover

From all of us at Interlochen Public Radio, happy Friday to you, Kids Commuters! Today we finally get to hear the inspector solve the mystery contained within “The Composer Is Dead” by Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey.

Here’s what we have learned throughout the week: the strings didn’t do it, and neither did the woodwinds. Yesterday, we discovered that it wasn’t the percussion section, or the tubas. In fact, none of the brass instruments are guilty of committing the crime. Who on Earth could it be? The answer is coming up in the final part of “The Composer Is Dead”.

KC 249
“The Composer Is Dead” Part V
Book: Lemony Snicket
Music: Nathaniel Stookey
Conductor/Orchestra: Edwin Outwater/San Francisco Symphony

Here's today's Kids Commute:


"The Composer is Dead" by Lemony Snicket. Today, Part Five. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Book cover

It’s Thursday, and that means we’re one step closer to solving the mystery of the dead composer. It’s “The Composer Is Dead Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio.

All week long, we’re listening to sections of “The Composer Is Dead” by Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey, trying to figure out who is responsible for killing the composer. We know it’s not the string section, and yesterday we learned that it’s not the woodwinds. They can make interesting little bird sounds, but they are not responsible for the death of the composer. Who could it be? More clues await you in today’s episode.

KC 248
“The Composer Is Dead” Part IV
Book: Lemony Snicket
Music: Nathaniel Stookey
Conductor/Orchestra: Edwin Outwater/San Francisco Symphony

Here's today's Kids Commute:


"The Composer is Dead" by Lemony Snicket. Today, Part Five. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Book cover

It’s Wednesday, and that means we’re almost halfway through “The Composer Is Dead Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio.

“The Composer Is Dead” is written by Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey. The composer has died and nobody knows who did it! On Monday, we figured out it wasn’t the violins. Yesterday, we learned that it wasn’t anyone else in the string section, including the concertmaster. Who could it be? Listen to today’s episode and see if we get any more clues to help us solve this mystery.

KC 247
"The Composer is Dead" - Part III
Book/Narrator: Lemony Snicket
Music: Nathaniel Stookey
Conductor/Ensemble: Edwin Outwater, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:


"The Composer is Dead" by Lemony Snicket. Today, Part Five. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Book cover

It’s Tuesday, and time for Part Two of “The Composer Is Dead Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio.

Lemony Snicket and Nathaniel Stookey tell a story set to music of a composer who has died under mysterious circumstances. Yesterday, we were introduced to the story, and the inspector leading the investigation questioned the violins. Listen and discover who will be the target of today’s questions asked by the inspector.

KC 246
"The Composer is Dead" - Part II
Book/Narrator: Lemony Snicket
Music: Nathaniel Stookey
Conductor/Ensemble: Edwin Outwater, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:


"The Composer is Dead" by Lemony Snicket. Today, Part Five. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Book cover

Welcome to another week of Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. It’s Monday and that means a new theme for the week, and that is not an unfortunate event - even though the story starts with an unfortunate event - the death of the composer!

This week we’re highlighting a work by author Lemony Snicket (otherwise known as Daniel Handler). It has a title that you might think would have been better for Spooky Week - “The Composer Is Dead”. It was written in 2009, and has music composed by Nathaniel Stookey to help tell the tale of a composer who died under suspicious circumstances. In today’s episode, we hear the introduction to the story and meet the inspector who begins an investigation into the mysterious death.

KC 245
"The Composer is Dead"
Lemony Snicket, narrator
Nathaniel Stookey, composer
Edwin Outwater/San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Kids Commute Episode 34: "Street in a Frontier Town" from Aaron Copland's Ballet "Billy the Kid." Interlochen Public Radio - Classical Music for Kids!
One of the two only known photos of Billy the Kid!

Happy Friday! Welcome to the Day Five of Old West Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids! Today, we'll answer our Quizlet and wind up Old West Week with more ballet music from American composer Aaron Copland.

KC 34 (Encore Presentation)
"Billy the Kid: Street in a Frontier Town"
Aaron Copland

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Kids Commute Episode 33 - Old West Week: "On the Trail," by Ferde Grofe. Interlochen Public Radio - Classical Music for Kids!
The Grand Canyon Mule Trail

Welcome to Day Four of Old West Week on IPR's Kids Commute - Classical Music for Kids!

Today, we'll mosey (and sometimes rush!) down the Grand Canyon with American composer Ferde Grofé.

KC 33 (Encore Presentation)
"The Grand Canyon Suite"
"On the Trail"
Ferde Grofé

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Kids Commute Episode 32 - Old West Week! "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" by Ennio Morricone. Interlochen Public Radio - Classical Music for Kids!
Original Italian movie poster

Welcome to Day Three of Old West Week on IPR's Kids Commute - Classical Music for Kids!

Today, we'll hear some, "Spaghetti Western," music by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, from the 1966 movie, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY. Keep your ears open for some of the cool and kooky things he does with the human voice as an instrument!

KC 32 (Encore Presentation)
"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
Ennio Morricone

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Kids Commute Episode 31 - Old West Week! "Hoedown" from "Rodeo" by Aaron Copland
Cowgirl, circa 1900

Welcome to Day Two of Old West Week on IPR's Kids Commute - Classical Music for Kids!

Today, we'll hear a selection from an Old West ballet, by composer Aaron Copland.

To learn about all the story and wonderful music in "Rodeo", check out our expanded Summer Listening Episode in the links at the bottom of this post.

KC 31 (Encore Presentation)
"Hoedown" from "Rodeo"
Aaron Copland

Here's today's Kids Commute:


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