Kids Commute

Monday-Friday, 7:40am

Join Classical IPR's Kate Botello each weekday at about 7:40 a.m. for the award-winning Kids Commute.

We explore lots of different kinds of classical music with themes like PiratesVillains and Circus Music. The goal is to show that classical music isn't fancy - it's just music!

Answer our weekly Quizlet question correctly and win a Kids Commute Prize. Text your answer with your name and address to (231) 237-7482.

New in 2020! Every month, we'll draw from all the winners' names for a BIG PRIZE: a month's supply of snacks from our friends at GoGo squeeZ!

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

Hi Kids Commuters! It's a short school week leading up to Thanksgiving, so we're having some fun together with REQUEST WEEK! You're in charge! We're hearing music chosen by you all week. 

Tune in Monday through Friday at 7:40 a.m., school or no - or listen any time at the links on this page if you're sleeping in.

Listen for daily doses of gratitude from your fellow Kids Commuters, too!

This week on Kids Commute - it's Dragon Week! We'll take to the skies with our fire-breathing friends with dragon music from several different genres.

We've got a dragon-sized Quizlet too! Congrats to our Quizlet aces so far this week:

Hey there Kids Commuters! This week we're listening to an encore of our award-winning BANJO WEEK with the First Gentleman of the banjo, Bela Fleck!

Bela was kind enough to step right off the tour bus and into our studio - and changed the way we think about the banjo forever.

We have a brand-new banjo Quizlet for you this week! Congrats to our Quizlet Aces:

Hi, Kids Commuters! This week on IPR's Kids Commute, we look into the life and work of a composer with a very famous sibling. The sibling? Renowned German composer Felix Mendelssohn. The other sibling? His less-renowned, but wonderfully talented sister, Fanny.

Meet Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel this week, and take your chance at our sibling-related Quizlet this week!

Congrats to our Quizlet Aces:

Happy Halloween, Kids Commuters! It's SPOOKY WEEK!

This week, we're going on a musical mystery treasure hunt for the ancient "Dies Irae" - a Latin chant meaning "Day of Wrath" that shows up in lots of music as a hint of gloom and doom.

We'll have a spooky Quizlet, too!

Congratulations to:

Hey Kids Commuters!

You might be noticing lots of campaign advertisements as we head toward the election. Using catchy songs and slogans - and throwing side-eye to your opponents - has been a common campaign tactic throughout history.

This week on Kids Commute, we'll hear catchy campaign songs composed for Presidential candidates from George Washington to Lyndon Johnson.

We'll have an American historical Quizlet for you too!

Congrats to our Quizlet Aces this week:

Hi Kids Commuters!

This week, it's Round Two of "Old American Songs" by Aaron Copland. We'll hear composer Aaron Copland at the piano along with bass-baritone William Warfield. We also have a new Quizlet for you this week!

This week on Kids Commute, it's "Old American Songs Week."

Composer Aaron Copland went digging through libraries and found a bunch of classic American folk tunes and arranged them into two sets. This week, we'll hear the first set, sung by legendary bass-baritone William Warfield with the composer at the piano.  

We'll have a U.S.A.-themed Quizlet this week, too!

Hi there Kids Commuters!

This week on IPR's Kids Commute, we'll meet the revolutionary composer Wendy Carlos. She's a pioneer of electronic music and has created many famous versions of classical works. IPR Music Director Amanda Sewell authored a biography about Carlos, and joins us to share some of her fascinating story!

This week's Quizlet will test your ears, as we give you a week of musical clues to a mystery musician.

Hi there Kids Commuters!

This week, we'll hear music written for a BBC Documentary about the Louvre Museum in France. 

We'll take a tuneful tour of the Louvre with music by Norman Dello Joio performed by the Interlochen Arts Academy Band.

Hi Kids Commuters!

This week on Kids Commute, we've put together a week for Kids Commuter Hazel, who's a big fan of clouds. With some help from our friend meteorologist Jayne Firstenberg and some wonderful composers - it's Cloud Week!

Tune in to hear Cloud Music and take your chance at our weekly Quizlet. Listen Monday through Friday mornings at 7:40 a.m., or listen any time at the links below.

Hey Kids Commuters! Welcome back to school - and Season Four of IPR's Kids Commute!

We're overjoyed to be back with you, so this week, it's Joy Week. We'll hear music all about joy - the feeling of huge happiness.

Speaking of joy - we have new prizes for our Quizlet, too!

Tune in to Classical IPR weekday mornings at 7:40 or listen any time below. 

Congrats to our Quizlet winners this week: Finn from Traverse City, Fiona from Reed City, J.A. from Farmington Hills and Hazel from Rapid City!

Welcome to another installment of the Kids Commute Story Challenge! We select music and ask young artists to create artwork or a story to go with it. We then turn the stories into a radio drama voiced by Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Students.

Welcome to another installment of the Kids Commute Story Challenge! We choose a piece of music, and ask you to make some art or write a story to go with it!

This time, we have a story by nine-year-old Roya McAllister of Ann Arbor, Michigan! Her tale, "Mickey and Millie," is set to "The New Lobby Boy" by Alexandre Desplat.

Thanks to Bill Church and our actors from the Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Department!

Welcome to another installment of the Kids Commute Story Challenge! We present listeners with a piece of music, and ask them to create a work of art or story to go with it.

This week, our young artist has provided both! Nina Wheeler, age 5, created both the art and story for this episode. Thanks and congrats, Nina!

Story: "Bears in the Woods"
Music: "Vianne Confronts the Comte" from "Chocolat" by Rachel Portman
Author: Nina Wheeler, age 5
Narrator: Claudia Schlomer

Welcome to another installment of the Kids Commute Story Challenge, in which we set a piece of music and invite young listeners to write us a story to go with it! Learn more about how to enter the Story Challenge by clicking here.

Today's story is "Alex and the Stranger" by Ella Fernandez, 12, of Wyoming Ohio. It's voiced by members of the Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Department (thanks to Bill Church!). Our producer is Tony Bero.


The Kids Commute Story Challenge continues! Recently, we asked you to come up with short stories and art inspired by "The New Lobby Boy" by composer Alexandre Desplat. Now, we have a new piece of music for you to play with. Please give a listen to "Vianne Confronts the Comte" by Rachel Portman, from the movie "Chocolat" and write a short story to go with it (the music is 1 minute and 22 seconds long).

Today's story is "Pierre Takes the Train" by Gwendolyn Kudlack. Photo: early morning in Montmartre.
Photo: Pedro Szekely, Flickr

Our Kids Commute Story Challenge continues on IPR! We've given you a piece of music and asked you to create a story or artwork to go with it - find all the details on how to participate, and hear the piece of music, by clicking here. Future entries will be voiced by Interlochen Arts Academy Theatre Students!

For the second year in a row, Kids Commute has won a bronze award in the New York Radio Festival Awards.

Competing in the Best Children/Young Adult Program category, Kids Commute placed alongside radio programs from India, New Zealand and Sweden.

Hi Kids Commuters! We’re always talking about musical imagery on Kids Commute, and we’re issuing a challenge to you.

The Kids Commute team wants to hear your stories inspired by a specific piece of music. The music is "The New Lobby Boy" from "The Grand Budapest Hotel" by Alexandre Desplat. You can listen to it below.

UPDATE! Submissions are coming in! Take a look at these pictures inspired by the music, created by Aspen Clayton, 10,  from Downers Grove, Illinois!

ENCORE - Kids Commute - Old West Week!

Apr 2, 2020

Welcome to the encore of Old West Week on Kids Commute - music appreciation for kids from Interlochen Public Radio! This week, we'll ride across a range of music inspired by the American West. We'll hear music inspired by the Grand Canyon, music from an old west ballet, and more! There's lots of fun music to capture your imagination and keep you entertained. Thanks for listening to Kids Commute - classical music for kids from Interlochen Public Radio!

ENCORE - Kids Commute - Pirate Week!

Mar 27, 2020


Kids Commute - Irish Week!

Mar 20, 2020

We found your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - it’s Irish Week on Kids Commute - your source for music appreciation for kids from Interlochen Public Radio! St. Patrick’s Day is Tuesday, March 17, and the Kids Commute team thought it would be fun to put together a week full of Irish music. We’ll hear traditional Irish melodies; music from John Field, the inventor of the nocturne; and a bit of modern Irish music. Make sure to listen for the hint for this week’s Kids Commute Quizlet. We’ll send you a Kids Commute Prize Pack if you text us the correct answer.

Kids Commute - "From the Top" Week!

Mar 12, 2020

Hello, Kids Commuters. Welcome to From the Top Week on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio! From the Top is a radio program from NPR.The show celebrates the stories, talents, and character of young classically-trained musicians. Through live events, NPR and video broadcasts, scholarships, and arts education programs, we empower these extraordinary young people to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages. All week we’ll hear performances from folks who were featured on From the Top when they were teenagers, or even younger.

Kids Commute - Mighty Handful Week!

Mar 6, 2020

Zdravstvuyte! Hello, Kids Commuters it’s Mighty Handful Week on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio! This week, we’re playing music by five self-taught Russian composers who shook up the world of Russian Classical Music. Mily Balakirev, Cesar Cui, Alexander Borodin, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov wanted to create a distinct Russian sound in their compositions. We’ll tell you how they did it, and why they got the name “The Mighty Handful.” Keep your ears open for the hint to this week’s Kids Commute Quizlet.