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.

Hey there, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Day Four of CAT WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

As you listen, you’ll learn a little bit about Domenico Scarlatti, who came from a very musical family, and we’ll also identify the notes that his kitten, Pulcinella, “composed” for him. All of this plus great music for you to listen to.

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Cat Fugue
Domenico Scarlatti
Elaine Comparone, harpsichord

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Today on Kids Commute: dueling operatic cats! Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
ColKorn1982

Hey there, Kids Commuters! Here, kitty, kitty! It’s Day Three of  CAT WEEK on Kids Commute, where we’ll listen to music either inspired by cats or written about them.

Our musical selection of the day is actually a mashup composed before mashups were actually a “thing." (At the time of its composition, a "mashup" - or different pieces mashed together into one - was called "pastiche.") Gioachino Rossini’s “Cat Duet” is a fun piece usually sung as an encore at the end of a concert or recital that features a pair of singers. Learn about the history of the piece and how Rossini didn’t actually write the piece as it exists today, nor did he give it the name that we call it today. And don’t forget about our quizlet - text us your answer and you may just win an all-new Kids Commute Prize Pack!

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Duetto buffo di due gatti
Gioacchino Rossini (with C.E.F. Weyse and Robert Lucas de Pearsall, writing as G. Berthold)
Victoria de los Angeles, Elisabeth Schwartzkopf, Gerald Moore (pianist)

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Hi Kids Commuters! Are you ready for more kitty cuteness? It’s Day Two of CAT WEEK at Kids Commute, where we are listening to music written about or inspired by cats. ‘Meow’ let’s get down to business.

Today, we listen to "Kitten on the Keys" by Edward Elzear ("Zez") Confrey, who earned his musical reputation reputation recording piano rolls, which are used in old-time player pianos. Learn a little bit about how player pianos work, about Mr. Confrey’s life and musical career. Of course we get to listen to some great music, inspired by Mr. Confrey’s grandmother’s cat walking on her piano. I guess you never know when inspiration will strike!

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Kitten on the Keys
Edward Eleazar ("Zez") Confrey
Eteri Andjaparidze, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Happy Monday, Kids Commuters! We're purr-fectly excited, because it's CAT WEEK! We’re not talking about the musical by Andrew Lloyd Weber; we’re spending some time with some other musical cats this week. We’ll listen to music about or inspired by cats. Today is extra special, because we get to hear an orchestra meow like a cat!

Written by American composer Leroy Anderson, "The Waltzing Cat" was originally created for an orchestra. By the way, his name isn’t pronounced the typical way, LEE-roy, but a little more French-like: le-ROY. 

Anderson had some big hits - "Blue Tango" was the most popular song of 1952, and who can forget the classic holiday song, "Sleigh Ride?" Now let's meow along with the orchestra, and Leroy Anderson's "The Waltzing Cat!"

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The Waltzing Cat
Leroy Anderson
Arthur Fiedler/Boston Pops Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:

Happy Friday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to the last day of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we've been listening to works by legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach and his sons, many of whom became composers.

Today, we'll hear music from his youngest - and probably most famous -  son, Child Number Eleven - Johann Christian Bach, who came to be known as the, "English Bach."

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Johann Christian Bach
ZANAIDA:  Allo splendor del trono
Vannina Santoni as Osira
Opera Fuoco/David Stern

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Hi there, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Day Four of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute! This week, we're listening to the works of the sons of composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Today, we're meeting Bach's Child Number Nine: Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (lots of Johanns in this family!). We'll learn a bit about his life, and hear a few of his variations on, "Ah vous dirai-je maman," the song we use as the basis for, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "Baa Baa Black Sheep," and the Alphabet Song!

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Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach: Variations on, "Ah vous dirai-je maman."
See Siang Wong, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Happy Wednesday, Kids Commuters, and welcome to Day Three of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we're listening to music by the sons of legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Today, we'll meet Bach's son Number Five - Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (known popularly as CPE Bach).

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CPE Bach: Violin Sonata in G major, 1st movement
Isaac Stern/violin, Alexander Zakin/piano

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Two of BACH WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute! This week, we're hearing music written by the sons of legendary Baroque era composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Yesterday, we heard music from Papa Bach. Today, we'll learn about, and  hear from, his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Duo for Two Flutes in G, 1st movement
John Solum and Richard Wyton

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Good morning, Kids Commuters, and Happy Monday! Welcome to a whole new week on IPR's Kids Commute.

This week, we'll be learning about the family of legendary Baroque period composer Johann Sebastian Bach. (Learn more about JS Bach and the Baroque period here.) JS Bach had twenty children, and a few of them became well-known composers in their own right.

Today, we're starting with Dear Old Dad - JS Bach himself.

Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1: Prelude and Fugue in C
JS Bach
Helene Grimaud

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Hey Kids Commuters! Happy Friday! It's the last day of the first week back to school. Whew! We hope it’s been a smooth transition from summer break to school days.

It's Day Five of Back to School Week, on IPR's Kids Commute - so let's have some fun! Today, we get to hear a selection from Clark Gesner’s 1967 musical, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, his most successful work. Mr. Gesner wrote lots of cool music for young people to enjoy. Lots of his material was used on kids’ television shows - we'll have a link for you further down the page. Gesner had a terrific sense of humor and enjoyed writing for the theatre.

You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown: The Book Report
Clark Gesner
1999 Broadway Cast

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Three of, “Back to School,” week on IPR's Kids Commute! This new episode explores more great music from the “March King”, John Philip Sousa. If you’re a regular listener, you might remember we did an entire week where we learned all about famous marches - and you can't do that without talking about Sousa!

Today we focus on a particular Sousa march, High School Cadets, written in the year 1890. Learn about Sousa’s life and compositions and get detailed information about how the structure that he used when composing marches. We’ll deconstruct the piece for you and identify highlights that you should listen for. And of course, we have our weekly quizlet where you might be able to win one of our all-new prize packs!

As a reminder, here's the structure (form) of your typical march:

  1. Fanfare/Introduction - the opening to the march
  2. First strain - the first melody of the march
  3. Second strain - the second melody of the march
  4. Introduction to the trio - some marches have a little introductory phrase before the next part
  5. Trio - usually the most famous portion of the march, the part you'd usually hum along to
  6. Breakstrain/Dogfight - time to mix it up a little and warm up the audience for the big finish!
  7. Final Trio/Grandioso - The Big Finish! Sometimes, "decorated," with an extra voice up at the top, like a piccolo

See if you can identify all the parts in today's music!

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High School Cadets
John Philip Sousa
Eastman Wind Ensemble/Frederick Fennell

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Hey there Kids Commuters! Welcome to Day Two of , “Back to School” week at Kids Commute! We hope your first day of school was great. Today’s back to school themed episode focuses on composition from a mini-ballet (also known as a balletto).

What do swordfighting and ballet have to do with each other? Many of the positions used in fencing are derived from ballet.  In the year 1623, composer Johann Heinrich Schmelzer wrote a balletto titled, Fechtschule, which is German for Fencing School. In today’s episode, we listen to the balletto and learn about its Johann Heinrich Schmelzer, who is not very well known, but wrote some good music.

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Balletto: Fencing School (Fechtschule)
Johann Heinrich Schmelzer
Musica Antiqua Koln/Reinhardt Goebel

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome back to an all new season of Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio! Congratulations on starting a new school year! We’ve got you covered with a great year of fun music and events coming up - so stay with us! This week, we’re taking it easy with some back- to-school music help you get inspired. All of our music this week is about - you guessed it! - school.

Tom Brown’s School Days is a story about Tom Brown’s experiences at Rugby School (not the sport rugby) in Warwickshire (a public school for boys) in the 1800’s. The novel was originally written in 1857 by author Thomas Hughes and was made into a movie in 1940, and again in 1951 and 2005. In today’s episode, we listen to the Overture from the film score composed by Richard Addinsell for the 1951 version, and we learn a little bit about the composer, too.

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Tom Brown's School Days: Overture
Richard Addinsell
BBC Orchestra/Rumon Gamba

Here's today's Kids Commute:


The 2018-2019 school year is just around the corner, and Kids Commute is getting ready to come back with an a new season of episodes to go with it! Come and say hello to your Kids Commute Production Team, Kate Botello and Tony Bero, at Friday Night Live in downtown Traverse City this week. We'll have a table near City Opera House, and will be giving away free kazoos - and a lesson to go with them!

Drop by our table Friday night, August 17th, from 5:30 - 9:00pm. The new season of Kids Commute launches Tuesday, September 4 at 7:40am.

Giddyup, cowgirls and cowboys! It’s the fifth and final week of the Kids Commute Summer Listening Series! A great summer break isn’t complete without a great soundtrack, so your Kids Commute team has put together five special extended episodes of Kids Commute for you to enjoy. Answer the super-easy Quizlet question at the end of the episode and you’ll receive one of our all-new prizes!

This week’s episode digs deep into Rodeo by American composer Aaron Copland. We’ll teach you about the proper pronunciation of the title in addition to details about his life and what made Aaron Copland one of the most prominent American composers of his time. We’ll also guide you through a musical tour of his career. Rodeo is a ballet originally choreographed by the very famous Agnes de Mille, who was responsible for convincing Mr. Copland to write the orchestral score. As you listen, we’ll give examples of the cowboy songs that Mr. Copland used as inspiration for his composition and give Rodeo its characteristic old west ‘American’ feel.

Kids Commute Summer Listening Week Five
MUSIC: Rodeo
COMPOSER: Aaron Copland
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Aaron Copland/London Philharmonic; , "Ranch House Party," Leonard Slatkin/St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Here's our final Kids Commuter Summer Listening Program! Don't forget - you have until the middle of August to complete all five weeks of the program, answer the Quizlets - and win concert tickets and an invitation to an ice cream party!

Now, get your lasso ready and let's wrangle with Rodeo, by Aaron Copland. Yee-haw!


William Tell and his son in the town square
'Healthy Living,' 1917, by C.E.A. Winslow

Hi-Yo Silver, away! It’s week four of the Kids Commute Summer Listening Series! The Kids Commute team wants to make sure you stay in touch with great music over your summer break, so for five weeks, we’re bringing you a special extended episode of Kids Commute. As is the Kids Commute custom, there’s a Quizlet at the end of the program. Answer the super-easy quizlet question and receive one of our all-new prizes!

This week we’re exploring the William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. Of course we’ll give you all the important details about Rossini’s incredible life. We’ll talk about and listen to sound clips of some compositions that made him very wealthy and successful during his life. Because his opera William Tell is about three hours long, we’ll just focus on the Overture, which is a very exciting piece all by itself. It’s so exciting, part of it was used as the theme to very famous radio and television show, The Lone Ranger.

KIDS COMMUTE SUMMER LISTENING WEEK FOUR
MUSIC: Overture to William Tell
COMPOSER: Gioachino Rossini
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Kevin Rhodes/Traverse Symphony Orchestra

And now, on a fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver! We bring you...The William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini.


Beethoven's music is performed this week by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Georg Solti. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Original album cover

Hey Kids Commuters! Summer is heating up and so is week three of IPR’s Kids Commute Summer Listening Program! Each week for five weeks, we’re bringing you a special extended episode of Kids Commute. As always, there’s a Quizlet at the end of the program. Answer the question and receive our week three prize!

This week’s selection is one of the most famous classical pieces of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Symphonies are pretty long compositions (this one lasts between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on the conductor), so in this episode we focus on the first movement, Allegro con brio, which means “fast, and with spirit”. Listen as we walk through some of Beethoven’s life, and highlight a few of his earlier compositions. We teach you what a motif is, and we point out several times where good ol’ Ludwig uses a simple motif to build a tremendous work of art that continues to inspire musicians to this very day.

KIDS COMMUTE SUMMER LISTENING - WEEK 3
MUSIC: Symphony No. 5, first movement, Allegro con brio
COMPOSER: Ludwig van Beethoven
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Sir Georg Solti/Chicago Symphony Orchestra

A great example of Beethoven’s brilliance as a composer is that he is able to create so many musical ideas out of only four notes!

And now, fast, and with spirit, just as Beethoven directed, we’ll bring you this week’s episode:


Erich Kunzel conducts the Cincinnati Pops in this week's music, "The 1812 Overture," by Tchaikovsky. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Original album cover

Hope you’re having a great summer vacation, Kids Commuters! It’s Week Two of IPR’s Kids Commute Summer Listening Program! Each week for five weeks, we’ll bring you a special extended episode of Kids Commute. As always, there’s a Quizlet at the end of the program. Answer the question and receive our Week Three prize!

This week, we focus on the 1812 Overture, one of Tchaikovsky’s best known compositions. You might recognize it as, “the one with the cannons that goes BOOM!”

Be sure to read our whole post for 1812 - we've got lots of informative goodies for you after the jump!

Don't forget to answer our Quizlet to receive your Week Two listening prize!

Kids Commute Summer Listening Week Two
MUSIC: 1812 Overture
COMPOSER: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
CONDUCTOR/ORCHESTRA: Erich Kunzel/Cincinnati Pops

Here's this week's Kids Commute:


Leonard Bernstein conducts the New York Philharmonic, performing, THE YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO THE ORCHESTRA.
Original album cover

Happy Summer, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Week One of IPR’s Kids Commute Summer Listening Program! Each week for five weeks, we’ll bring you a special extended episode of Kids Commute to enjoy. Don’t forget to answer the Quizlet at the end of the program!

Happy summer, Kids Commuters! The Interlochen Public Radio Kids Commute Summer Listening Program starts June 18!

Here's how it works: each week, we'll post a special, extended Kids Commute episode on some of classical music's greatest hits here on our website. The posts can also be found on our free Kids Commute app - just search, "Interlochen Public Radio," in the App Store or on Google Play.

Happy Friday, Kids Commuters - and happy summer!!! This is the last daily broadcast of Kids Commute for this school year! Don't worry, though - we'll be launching our Summer Listening Program on June 18, with music, Quizlets and prizes - ending with an ice cream party! Watch this space for updates!

Thanks so much for spending your school year with us - and now it's time to get excited for summer! This week we've been hearing music all about this sunny season. Today, though, we're doing something a little different. Today, we're hearing music that expresses the happiness of summer - and the end of school! 

We'll listen to German composer Ludwig van Beethoven's iconic, "Ode to Joy," from his Ninth Symphony. It's an ode to the wonderful feeling of joy itself, and to brotherly love.

Big love to all of you, and to all the music teachers out there! 

HAPPY SUMMER!!!

Friday, May 25, 2018 (Ep. 164)
NINTH SYMPHONY: Ode to Joy
Ludwig van Beethoven

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Four of SUMMER WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

It's the last week of regular Kids Commute broadcasts for the school year - but never fear! We'll have more Kids Commute for you with our Summer Listening Program, which starts Monday, June 18th. Watch this space for updates on how you can participate!

To help get you inspired for what we hope is a fabulous summer, we're listening to summer-themed music this week.

Today, we're finishing up with Vivaldi's, "Summer," from THE FOUR SEASONS. The thunderstorm has arrived - and it's a doozy!

Thursday, May 24, 2018 (Ep. 163)
THE FOUR SEASONS: Summer (3rd movement - Presto)
Antonio Vivaldi

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Three of SUMMER WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

This is the last week of regular Kids Commute broadcasts for the school year - watch this space for information about our Summer Listening Program, launching June 18th.

To help get you inspired for summer - we've got lots of great summer music for you this week!

Today, we continue with Antonio Vivaldi's, "Summer," from his 1725 series of concertos, THE FOUR SEASONS. We'll hear his rendition of the last muggy, buggy moments before a summer storm.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (Ep. 162)
THE FOUR SEASONS: Summer (2nd movement - Adagio)
Antonio Vivaldi

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Welcome to Day Two of SUMMER WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

It's the last week of regular Kids Commute broadcasts for this school year - but watch this space for information about our Summer Listening Program, launching Monday, June 18th! 

It's SUMMER WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute - we're going to play you some music to get you inspired for the season!

Today, we'll listen to music Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi. In the year 1725, he wrote a set of sonnets (poems) about the seasons, and then wrote music to go with them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 (Ep. 161)
THE FOUR SEASONS: Summer (1st movement, Allegro)
Antonio Vivaldi

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Astor Piazzolla (left, as the paperboy), starred in small part in a 1935 movie featuring his idol, tango legend Carlos Gardel.
Movie still, El Día que me Quieras, 1935

Happy Monday! Welcome to the final week of IPR's Kids Commute for this school year!

It's SUMMER WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute - we're going to play you some music to get you inspired for the season!

Today, we'll hear some, "upside-down," summer music as we spend the warm days and nights with the people of Buenos Aires in music by Astor Piazzolla.

Monday, May 21, 2018 (Ep. 160)
Estaciones Porteñas - Verano Porteño (The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires - Summer)
Astor Piazzolla

Here's today's Kids Commute:


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