music education

Kids Commute - Hansel and Gretel Week!

Feb 28, 2020

In 1812,the Brothers Grimm wrote many stories and fables and published them as “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”. This week on Kids Commute, we’ll hear the story of “Hansel and Gretel,” in the form of an opera by Englebert Humperdinck in 1893. We’ll share the highlights of the story and the beautiful music that helps it all come to life. Of course, we’ll remember to give you the Kids Commute Quizlet. Text us the correct answer and you’ll win yourself a Kids Commute Prize Pack. Thanks for listening to Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio!

Kids Commute - Pop Goes the Classical Week 2.0

Feb 21, 2020

Kids Commuters, take cover! It’s Pop Goes the Classical Week 2.0 on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio. All week we’ll be hearing pop songs played on classical instruments. Back in the day, it was called a theme and variation; one composer takes another composer’s theme and makes changes to put their own twist on it. Nowadays, we call that a cover song. Regardless of what label you put on it, the Kids Commute theme thought you’d like to hear a new batch of pop music performed with a classical spin by today’s classical performers.

Kids Commute - Couples Week!

Feb 7, 2020

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amoré . . . OR it’s Couples Week on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio! Music has brought people together since the dawn of civilization. Music has also helped people fall in love for almost as long. Valentine’s Day is soon, so the Kids Commute team decided we should celebrate couples who express their love for each other by performing together. Don’t forget to listen for the hint to this week’s Kids Commute Quizlet. If you text us the correct answer, you’ll win a Kids Commute Prize Pack!

Kids Commute - Alma Deutscher Week!

Jan 31, 2020

One of our goals is to keep you informed on what’s new in classical music, and the Kids Commute team is really excited to bring you Alma Deutscher Week on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio! Alma is a child prodigy, who not only plays piano and violin, but has also been composing since she was four years old. We’ll tell you all about her background, her philosophies and method of composing, and introduce you to her music. As always, we’ll give you a hint to the Kids Commute Quizlet so you can win a Kids Commute Prize Pack.

David Reimer incorporates sports into his music teaching.
Erin Iafrate

March Madness begins this week. The huge college basketball tournament starts with 68 teams and will eventually end with one national champion. But for some in northern Michigan, March Madness means more than basketball. For 10-year-old Ricky Bristol, who lives in East Jordan, it means practicing his violin.


The Next Idea

If you’re old enough, you might remember Schoolhouse Rock, a series of musical films that helped kids learn.

Emmanuel Smith is “Mr. E in the D,” and he’s updating that concept by using hip-hop to teach kids math.

Michigan boasts an exceptionally rich mix of folk, ethnic and immigrant music, and it goes back centuries.

Music professor Lester Monts wanted to capture that rich tapestry, so he spearheaded the Michigan Musical Heritage Project.

Aaron Selbig

A group of Interlochen students is reviving the radio drama. Their production is called “Until We Can All Sit Down.” It recalls the lunch counter sit-in movement of the early 1960s.

But their radio drama also ties history into the present, relating the Civil Rights Movement with what’s happening today in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri.

The radio play has a little bit of everything. There’s singing. There’s a viola and a flute. And of course, lots of sound effects.

Peter Payette

(This is our first story in a new series on IPR.) 

Around the time Ben Davila was thinking about leaving San Francisco, a friend sent him a BuzzFeed article about nine private islands you can buy for less than an apartment in San Francisco.
 
Davila was well aware of the problem. He had a small recording studio in his apartment that he wanted to expand, but there was no way he could afford it.
 

Ring the bell, time to go back to school: this week on The Green Room

Sep 3, 2015
Theater director Minda Nyquist getting acquainted with her new office at West High School in Traverse City.
Daniel Wanschura

Ready or not, it’s back to school time!

While students are cherishing their last days of summer, teachers are busily preparing for the upcoming school year.

Minda Nyquist is one of them. She’s getting ready for her new role as the theater director at West High School in Traverse City. She’s taking over for Kristie Bach, who developed the theater program at West into the renown program it is today. Minda hopes to continue to build on what Kristie started 18 years ago.

The "JunkYard Music Box" was made out of a rusty water tank, old car parts, leftover granite, two I-beams, and an antique meat grinder.
Tom Kaufmann

What most of us would see as useless junk, Tom Kaufmann sees potential for making instruments. 

“I love junk,” Kaufmann says, laughing. 

From a giant 25-foot tall music box made out of a rusty water tank, to glockenspiels created out of hand tools, he has spent much of his life making music out of unexpected materials.

A new study will create a digital sound map of religion in Midwestern cities by collecting sounds of worship – sounds like Gregorian chant, Muslim calls to prayer, and Native American chants.

The Religious Soundmap Project of the Global Midwest is led by Amy DeRogatis, an associate professor of religious studies at Michigan State University, and Isaac Weiner, an assistant professor of comparative studies at Ohio State University.

Luke Ratray

Contemporary classical music sometimes gets a bad rap – from both classical music purists and a broader audience not used to music that doesn’t always follow a melody. But among the genre’s fans, eighth blackbird is considered a fearless and innovative ensemble. They’ve been rewarded with three Grammy awards.

The six members of eighth blackbird came together at Oberlin Conservatory in 1996. A couple of its members have changed over the years but the group’s focus on exploring musical boundaries has not.

Ross Halfin

  Songwriter Loudon Wainwright III has been traveling the world with his brand of witty – and sometimes weird – music for over forty years.

Friday night, he brings his show to the Interlochen Center for the Arts.

If you don’t know Wainwright’s music, you may know him from his acting appearances as “the Singing Surgeon” on the TV show "M*A*S*H" or as a disappearing doctor from the hit film “Knocked Up.”

IPR's Aaron Selbig spoke with Wainwright about his side career as a comedic actor and his new album – “Haven’t Got the Blues (Yet).”

All too often, as school districts are forced to cut spending, programs like music get the ax.

And that sorry fact robs students of the chance to learn music, to make music, and leaves one to wonder: Where are the musicians of the future going to come from?

One Ann Arbor Elementary School is teaming up with the University of Michigan School of Music for a unique approach to teaching music...and they are turning to Venezuela for inspiration.

It's called El Sistema.

The program originated in Venezuela, and the idea was to teach disadvantaged children, to help them discoverer the power of music.

I spoke with Professor John Ellis with the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, where among other things, he is Director of Community and Preparatory Programs - and Horacio Contreras Espionoza, he is a UofM grad student studying cello, and he is an El Sistema teacher at Mitchell Elementary School in Ann Arbor.