Kids Commute

Monday-Friday, 7:40am

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!

About the Kids Commute Quizlet:

Every week, we'll ask the kiddos a trivia question related to that week's theme. We'll give hints all week to help them figure out the answer! Send answers to the Quizlet in a text message with your name and address to (231) 237-7482. If the answer is right, we'll send you a Kids Commute Prize Pack! Please note - in order to ensure there are enough Prize Packs for everybody, each kid is eligible to win once every thirty days. 

Today, we'll hear the exciting "Ride of the Valkyries" by Richard Wagner. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
"Ride of the Valkyries", William T. Maud, 1890

Welcome to Day Two of BOOM Week on IPR's Kids Commute! This week we're listening to big, loud, exciting pieces of music!

Today, we take to the viking skies in music from German composer, Richard Wagner. We'll ride to battle with the Valkyrie, servants of the Norse god Odin. Listen in as they take "roll call" and talk about the soldiers they've collected to take to Valhalla.

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"Ride of the Valkyries"
"Die Walkure"
Richard Wagner
Members of the Bayreuth Festival

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Happy Monday, Kids Commuters, and welcome to BOOM WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

You know how classical music can be really soothing and relaxing? Not this week! This week, we're listening to big, loud, booming pieces of music!

Today, we'll go BOOM with bullfighters, in the exhilarating "Entrance (March) of the Toreadors" from Georges Bizet's opera, "Carmen." The fans are so excited to see them!

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"Entrance (March) of the Toreadors" ("Les voici!")
Georges Bizet
Richard Hickox/London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

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Happy Friday, Kids Commuters! It’s the final day of POP! GOES THE CLASSICAL week on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. We’ve dedicated this week to artists with a classical music background who bridge the gap between modern classical music.

Today, we focus on Black Violin, a violin/viola duo that combines classical-style playing with contemporary hip-hop beats. In today’s musical selection, they use Joseph Brackett’s Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts, and reimagine it with variations on the theme, a hip-hop beat, and their classical training.

Kids Commuters - you have until Monday, October 8 to enter the drawing to win tickets to see Black Violin in concert at the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor on October 13! Simply text the word "tickets" to our Quizlet line 231-237-7482 for your chance to win a pair of tickets!

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Based on a hymn by Elder Joseph Brackett
Arranged and performed by Black Violin (Kev Marcus and Wil B.)

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Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser are the Croatian cellists that form the duo 2Cellos. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!

Welcome to Day Four of POP! GOES THE CLASSICAL Week on IPR’s Kids Commute. We’ve been exploring several artists and ensembles that use their creativity and training to reinvent modern music.

Today, we focus on 2Cellos, a duo of cellists that have a history of competing against one another. While they were highly respected because of their musical accomplishments, they weren’t necessarily financially successful until they realized the key to success was being different from other talented and accomplished musicians.

2Cellos took the internet by storm with the viral video of their performance of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal that has gained almost thirty million views on YouTube! Knowing that this is what makes them unique, they’ve gone on to reinvent popular songs such as "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC, last year’s hit song "Despacito," and "I Will Wait" by Mumford and Sons.

Today, we'll hear the hit that made them famous - Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal."

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"Smooth Criminal"
Michael Jackson
2Cellos (Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser)

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The Friction Quartet performed in IPR's Studio A. (L-R: Otis Harriel, Taija Warbelow, Doug Machiz, Kevin Rogers) Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Kate Botello

We’re in the middle of POP! GOES THE CLASSICAL Week from Kids Commute by Interlochen Public Radio. Join the fun as we highlight musicians who put a classical twist on modern music.

Friction Quartet not only uses their creativity to reinvent modern music, they are active in commissioning works from modern composers to expand the repertoire available to string quartet ensembles. An extra cool feature is that Friction Quartet was the string quartet in residence at the 2018 Interlochen Arts Camp, right here in Interlochen, Michigan.

Today, Friction Quartet will peform a chamber version of "Little Red Corvette" by Prince, arranged by the group's cellist, Doug Machiz. Friction Quartet performed the song just for us in IPR's Studio A! To hear our full interview with them, click here.

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"Little Red Corvette"
Doug Machiz/Friction Quartet

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Hey Kids Commuters!

Coming up Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m., you can join us for our first-ever KIDS COMMUTE LIVE concert with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band, plus special guest appearances from the Arts Academy Theatre Company, Chamber Singers and Comparative Arts.

We'll have some musical treats from Zaninelli, Wagner and Holst, and one monstrous trick - a hair-raising and interactive performance of GODZILLA EATS LAS VEGAS!

Welcome to day two of POP! GOES THE CLASSICAL Week. We’re just getting started in our exploration of musicians who live in both the traditional classical music world and the world of modern music.

Sybarite5 is our featured ensemble today. They are a string quintet who play traditional classical, modern classical, and reinvent modern pop music for their ensemble. Sometimes they even weave traditional classical music in their modern pop reinventions!

The word "sybarite" means a person devoted to luxury or pleasure. Sybarite5 says they purposefully choose music that they will enjoy playing the first - and thousandth! - time they perform it.

Today, we'll hear their version of "No Surprises" by the rock group Radiohead. Sybarite5 enjoyed the music of Radiohead so much, they made a whole album of their music, "Everything in its Right Place."

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"No Surprises"

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Today - the big finale to COPPELIA! Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
English National Ballet

Happy Friday, Kids Commuters! We hope you’ve enjoyed COPPELIA WEEK on IPR’s Kids Commute. All week, we’ve been hearing the story and listening to the music of this classic ballet by French composer L&ecute;o Delibes.

Yesterday, Swanhilda performed some clever detective work and a heroic rescue. She saved Franz from having his life essence transferred into the Coppelia doll!

Today, we’ll hear some “happily ever after” music for everybody (even the strange Dr. Coppelius - sort of). We’ll also answer our Quizlet!

Let’s get to it!

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Coppelia: Galop Final
Léo Delibes
Richard Bonynge/National Philharmonic Orchestra

Today: Swanhilda to the rescue! Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
State Academic Bolshoi Theatre, 1957

Hi, Kids Commuters, and welcome to Day Four of COPPELIA WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we've been listening to the story and music of the classic ballet Coppelia by French composer Léo Delibes.

Today - Swanhilda performs a daring rescue as Dr. Coppelius knocks Franz out with a sleeping potion and tries to steal his life force to put into the mechanical Coppelia doll!

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Coppelia: Chanson à boire et scène ("Song of the Drink and Scene")
Léo Delibes
Richard Bonynge/National Philharmonic Orchestra

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Tick-tock...who is this Coppelia person, anyway? Today, Swanhilda and her friends uncover the mystery. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
DVD Cover, Australian Ballet

Welcome to Part Three of COPPELIA WEEK where we listen to music and tell the story from Léo Delibes' ballet.

So far we’ve met Franz and Swanhilda, our couple in love. And yesterday, we were introduced to Dr. Coppelius and his daughter, Coppelia. Today, the mystery deepens. Franz is still captivated by her and the fact that she doesn’t move. Swanhilda is a bit jealous of Coppelia, so she decides to do some detective work and try to figure out what is really going on here. She and her friends sneak into the house of Dr. Coppelius and find...?

Listen to today’s episode as we uncover some answers in our mystery!

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Coppelia: Musique des automates-Scène ("Music for Automatons and Scene")
Léo Delibes
Richard Bonynge/National Philharmonic Orchestra

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Dr. Coppelius and his daughter Coppelia, who sits in a chair and reads.. all day. This is the album cover for the recordings we're hearing this week! Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Album Cover

Welcome to Part Two of COPPELIA WEEK on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. We’re telling the story Léo Delibes’ ballet Coppelia over the course of the week.

Yesterday, we were introduced to the young couple in our story, Franz and Swanhilda. A couple in love who are supposed to get married under the town’s new bell.

Today we are introduced to Dr. Coppelius and his daughter Coppelia, who has some pretty strange characteristics. And so our mystery begins. Franz becomes fascinated by Coppelia, and so Swanhilda tries a game with a wheat stalk to be sure of his love. Here's how the game works: if you shake the stalk near your ear, and you hear it rattle - you're in love! The wheat rattles in Swanhilda's ear, but Franz doesn't hear anything. He pretends he does - and this makes Swanhilda pretty sad.

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Coppelia: Ballade de l'épi ("Dance of the Wheat Stalk")
Léo Delibes
Richard Bonynge/National Philharmonic Orchestra

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Happy villagers dance in a production of this week's ballet, COPPELIA, by Leo Delibes. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Poleth Rivas/ Secretaría de Cultura CDMX

Happy Monday, Kids Commuters! It’s story week on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. All week long we'll tell the story from the ballet Coppelia by French composer, Léo Delibes. It’s a bit of a mystery about the reclusive Dr. Coppelius, his strange daughter (Coppelia), and a curious young couple (Franz and Swanhilda).

The story starts in a village that is about to receive a bell. To celebrate, the mayor has offered a prize to a couple who gets married under the brand new bell. The town holds a happy celebration with lots of fun and dancing.

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Coppelia: Mazurka
ément Philibert Léo Delibes
Richard Bonynge/National Philharmonic Orchestra

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Today, we'll meet Puss in Boots, the star of his own famous fairy tale and a special guest at Princess Aurora's wedding in the SLEEPING BEAUTY ballet. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
1843 edition of Puss in Boots

And meow, my friends, we’ve reached the final episode of “Cat Week” from Kids Commute. We hope you’ve had fun exploring music inspired by, written about, or “composed” by cats. Have you remembered to text in your answer to this week’s Quizlet? If you get the answer right, we’ll send you one of our all-new Kids Commute Prize Packs.

Today, we listen to cat music composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky for the 1890 ballet, Sleeping Beauty. Its title is also the answer to today’s quizlet, Puss In Boots. The original story is a fairy tale about a boot-wearing cat who wins his poor young master a castle, a title and a princess - all with clever tricks! Tchaikovsky doesn’t use this plot for Sleeping Beauty, but Puss In Boots makes an appearance at Aurora's wedding feast. As you listen, try to see if you think the music sounds like the way cats might behave.

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Sleeping Beauty - "Puss in Boots"
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa

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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

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

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)

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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