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.

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:


Welcome to Old West Week on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids! This week, we'll ride across a range of music inspired by the American West!

Today, we'll hear music from a 1960 movie about seven cowboys based on a movie about seven Japanese warriors!

KC 30 (Encore Presentation)
Theme: The Magnificent Seven
Elmer Bernstein

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Happy Friday, Kids Commuters, and welcome to the last day of SPOOKY Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

Yesterday, we heard music for an eerie dance with a ghost. Today, we'll hear some fun, light-hearted music for ghosts who want to tap their toes a little.

Our piece is "Ghost Dance" by ragtime composer Cora Salisbury.

KC 244
"Ghost Dance" 
Cora Salisbury
Paragon Ragtime Band

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Poor Candela dances with a ghost in today's music by Manuel de Falla.
Ballet Folklorico Nacional en Colombia

Happy Thursday, Kids Commuters! Hope you had a great Halloween! We continue with SPOOKY Week on IPR's Kids Commute.

Today, well hear music from Manuel de Falla's ballet "El Amor Brujo" ("Love the Magician"). In today's piece, poor Candela is haunted by the ghost of her husband, who comes to dance with her every night. The neighbors know the ghost is real, but they still think she's crazy!

We'll hear two bits of music: "El Aparecido" ("The Apparition" - the appearance of the ghost) and "Danza del Terror" ("The Dance of Terror").

KC 243
"El Amor Brujo"
"El Aparecido"/"Danza del Terror"
Manuel de Falla
Eduardo Mata/Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

Here's today's Kids Commute:


It’s Wednesday!  We’re about halfway through “Spooky Week” here on Kids Commute.  So far we’ve heard compositions from two theatrical works, “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from Henrik Ibsen’s play, “Peer Gynt”, and “When the Night Wind Howls” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Ruddigore”

Happy Tuesday, Kids Commuters!  We’re glad you’re here with us for the second day of “Spooky Week” on Kids Commute from Interlochen Public Radio.

It’s Monday!  Welcome to “Spooky Week” on Kids Commute.

Since Halloween is coming up this week, we thought it would be a good idea to play some pieces that have spooked its listeners.  Throughout the week, we’ll hear selections from theatrical plays and musicals, and even a funeral march.

KC 239: Today's very special guest is Matthew Duvall, percussionist for Eighth Blackbird. He'll talk about and perform music of Peter Garland. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Photo courtesy of Matthew Duvall

Happy Friday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to the last day of MINIMALISM Week!

This week has been fascinating to put together - we hope you've enjoyed it!

Minimalism is a musical movement in which little things mean a lot. The music uses simple tunes, harmonies and rhythms to create a complex sound. Some minimalist music isn't intended to be heard as a tune you hum along to - the composer just wants you to be present with interesting sounds for a while.

Today's music is the gently beautiful "The Days Run Away" by composer Peter Garland. Our friend Matthew Duvall of Eighth Blackbird returns to teach us about the piece and play it for us on the piano! Matthew thought it was a lovely way to say goodbye, and we agree.

Thank you so much, Matthew!

KC 239
"The Days Run Away"
Peter Garland
Special guest and pianist: Matthew Duvall

Here's today's Kids Commute:

 


KC 238: Today's composer, Steve Reich. He's performing "Clapping Music" with musician Ian Oliver (not pictured). Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Ian Oliver, 2006 (the other half of this "Clapping Music" performance)

Happy Thursday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Day Four of MINIMALISM Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

We're listening to fascinating examples of minimalism this week. Minimalism is a musical movement in which little things mean a lot. The music uses simple tunes, harmonies and rhythms to create a complex sound. Some minimalist music isn't intended to be heard as a tune you hum along to - the composer just wants you to be present with interesting sounds for a while.

Today's nifty piece of music plays tricks on your ears, with what our friend Matthew Duvall refers to as "rhythmic perception." Matthew is the percussionist of the Grammy-Award winning contemporary classical ensemble Eighth Blackbird. He visited IPR this summer and spent some time teaching us about minimalist composers like Steve Reich, who created the "Clapping Music" we'll hear today.

KC 238
"Clapping Music"
Composer: Steve Reich
Performers: Steve Reich/Kristjan Jarvi
Special guest: Matthew Duvall

Here's today's Kids Commute:


KC 237: Today's composer is the American minimalist pioneer John Cage
Rob Bogaerts, Fotocollectie Anefo 1988

Happy Wednesday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Day Three of MINIMALISM Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

Minimalism is a musical movement in which little things mean a lot. The music uses simple tunes, harmonies and rhythms to create a complex sound. Some minimalist music isn't intended to be heard as a tune you hum along to - the composer just wants you to be present with interesting sounds for a while.

Today's composer is one of the great pioneers of minimalism - John Cage. He wrote music for instruments like tin cans, toy pianos, or...nothing but the ambient sound in a concert hall.

KC 237
"Suite for Toy Piano"
John Cage
Stephen Drury, pianist

Here's today's Kids Commute:


KC 235: Today's composer, Meredith Monk. This picture is from "On Behalf of Nature" performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2014. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Steven Pisano, 2014

Happy Tuesday, Kids Commuters! This week we're learning about a type of music called "minimalism."

Minimalism is a musical movement in which little things mean a lot. The music uses simple tunes, harmonies and rhythms to create a complex sound. Some minimalist music isn't intended to be heard as a tune you hum along to - the composer just wants you to be present with interesting sounds for a while.

Today's piece is"Walking Song." It uses simple sounds stacked on top of each other to create a bigger sound. The sounds come from composer and performance artist Meredith Monk. Using only her voice, she created a very simple set of nonsense sounds, simple notes, and breathing to create today's piece, and then layered her voice on top of itself to create a complex sound.

It's deliberately mysterious - does it sound like she's making it up as she goes, like you might on your own walk? Or does it sound like a very old song she's trying to remember? The neat thing about this is that it's entirely up to you!

KC 236
"Walking Song"
Meredith Monk (performer/composer)

Here's today's Kids Commute:


KC 235: Today's composer, Philip Glass.
Pasquale Salerno, 1993

Happy Monday! Welcome to MINIMALISM Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

Minimalism is a musical movement in which little things mean a lot. The music uses simple tunes, harmonies and rhythms to create a complex sound. Some minimalist music isn't intended to be heard as a tune you hum along to - the composer just wants you to be present with interesting sounds for a while.

Today, we'll hear what happens when small things add up to a big thing - in this case, an opera by American composer Philip Glass. Glass wrote a minimalist opera called "Satyagraha" about Indian political leader Mahatma Gandhi. The backing music is very simple, as are the notes in the long lines sung by the singer, but the whole thing adds up to a rich, gorgeous piece of music.

KC 235
"Evening Song"
"Satyagraha"
Composer: Philip Glass
Singer: Douglas Perry
Conductor/Orchestra: Christopher Keene/NYC Opera Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:


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!

Hey there, Kids Commuters, and welcome to Day Four of MONSTER Week on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we're enjoying music for monsters, from movies to myths!

This week's theme is in honor of our first-ever Kids Commute Live! concert, coming up Saturday, October 18th. Join us for a fun, eerie, informative concert with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band, with lots of extra special Interlochen guests. Our finale will be an interactive performance of Eric Whitacre's "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas." Tune in all week for a chance to win tickets to the concert. Winning kids are invited to a pre-concert party at the Interlochen Public Radio station!

Today, we'll hear music for a dragon - just the worst dragon - in music from English composer Wolseley Charles. He was mostly known for writing little comic monologues, like, "Sam, Pick Oop the Musket," (all about a soldier refusing to pick up his musket after his sergeant accidentally knocks it off his shoulder).

In this case, we'll hear a funny story about "The Green-Eyed Dragon" - a very rude fellow with thirteen tails who camps out on the front porch of a Princess and proceeds to eat...terrible things.

KC 233
"The Green-Eyed Dragon"
Wolesley Charles
John Aler, tenor, with Grant Gershon, piano

Here's today's Kids Commute:


KC 232: MONSTER Week! Wednesday: Today, we'll hear a barking orchestra, as a warning about Cerberus, three-headed guard dog of the Underworld! Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Sketch: Giuseppe Arcimboldo, 1585

Hey, Kids Commuters! Welcome to Day Three of MONSTER Week! This week, we'll hear music for monsters from movies to myths.

This week's theme is in honor of our first-ever Kids Commute Live! concert, coming up this Saturday, October 20. Join us for a fun, eerie, informative concert with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band, with lots of extra special Interlochen guests. Our finale will be an interactive performance of Eric Whitacre's wacky "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas!" Tune in all week for a chance to win tickets for the concert. Ticket-winning kids are invited to a pre-concert party at Interlochen Public Radio!

Today, we'll hear music about a mythical beast - the giant, three-headed dog Cerberus that guards the gates of the Underworld in Greek and Roman myths. Cerberus appears in the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Eurydice dies, and Orpheus tries to walk down to the Underworld to get her. At the gate, he's greeted by the Furies (Goddesses also called the Eumenides) and a bunch of ghosts, telling him - go back! No mortal man can walk here!

To warn him off, the orchestra barks three times as a warning about Cerberus. Listen in for the barking orchestra! Today's music is from the opera "Orpheus and Eurydice" by Christoph Wilibald Gluck.

KC 232
"Chi mai dell'erebo" ("Who walks in Darkness?")
"Orpheus and Eurydice"
Christoph Wilibald Gluck
English Baroque Soloists
John Eliot Gardiner

Here's today's Kids Commute:


KC 231: MONSTER Week! "Danse Macabre" from "The Bride of Frankenstein" Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Movie lobby card, 1935

Welcome to Day Two of Monster Week, Kids Commuters! This week, we listen to music for monsters, from movies to myths.

This week's theme is in honor of our first-ever Kids Commute Live! concert, coming up Saturday, October 18th. Join us for a fun, eerie, informative concert with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band, with lots of extra special Interlochen guests. Our finale will be an interactive performance of Eric Whitacre's "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas." Tune in all week for a chance to win tickets to the concert. Winning kids are invited to a pre-concert party at the Interlochen Public Radio station!

Today, music for a real Bridezilla - a monstrous creation from the 1935 movie "The Bride of Frankenstein." The score is by composer Franz Waxman, who wrote the score for many famous movies. He won the Oscar for Best Score twelve times!

The music is kind of weird and off-kilter, to help illustrate the strangeness of the movie's situation. A mad scientist creates a lonely monster. The scientist tries to build him a friend, but she's not into him...at all.

KC 231
"Danse Macabre"
"The Bride of Frankenstein"
Franz Waxman
Kenneth Alwyn/Westminster Philharmonic

Here's today's Kids Commute:


KC 230: Monster Week! "King Kong March" Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Movie poster, 1933

Happy Monday, Kids Commuters, and welcome to MONSTER Week! This week, we'll hear music for monsters from movies to myths.

This week's theme is in honor of our first-ever Kids Commute Live! concert, coming up Saturday, October 20th. Join us for a fun, eerie, informative concert with the Interlochen Arts Academy Band, with lots of extra special Interlochen guests.  Our finale will be an interactive performance of Eric Whitacre's "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas." Tune in all week for a chance to win tickets to the concert.  Winning kids are invited to a pre-concert party at Interlochen Public Radio!

Today, we'll hear some of German composer Max Steiner's score for the 1933 movie "King Kong." A giant gorilla has his big opening night on Broadway, and it doesn't go so well.

KC 230
"King Kong March"
Max Steiner
Reconstructed by John Morgan
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra

Here's today's Kids Commute:


KC 229 - BOOM Week! Friday: "Mars" from "The Planets" by Gustav Holst. Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Mars: God of War by Wenceslas Hollar (1607-1677)

Happy Friday, Kids Commuters! Welcome to the last day of BOOM Week on IPR's Kids Commute! This week, we've been listening to big, loud, terrific pieces of music.

We'll end this week with a bang in "Mars"  from "The Planets" by English composer Gustav Holst.

You can hear the Interlochen Arts Academy Band perform "Mars", along with more musical treats and tricks, at our upcoming Kids Commute Live! Event October 20. Win tickets during MONSTER Week next week!

KC 229
"Mars: Bringer of War"
"The Planets"
Sir Simon Rattle/London Philharmonic

Here's today's Kids Commute:


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

Today, a group of medieval peasants complains about the "Wheel of Fortune", an ancient idea that sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down - and you have no control over what happens to you. Their complaining is understandable - life in the year 1230 was pretty hard!

German composer Carl Orff found some poetry in medieval manuscripts (dating to around the year 1230) and set them to music in the 1937 oratorio, "Carmina Burana." 

KC 228
"O Fortuna"
"Carmina Burana"
San Francisco Symphony & Chorus


Today, we'll bang on some anvils with Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi! Interlochen Public Radio - classical music for kids!
Library of Congress, 1855

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

Today, we'll bang on some anvils and sing in the fields in the "Anvil Chorus" from the opera "Ill Trovatore" by Giuseppe Verdi.

KC 227
"Anvil Chorus"
"Il Trovatore"
Giuseppe Sinopoli/German Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Here's today's Kids Commute:


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 Valkyries, 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.

KC 226
"Ride of the Valkyries"
"Die Walkure"
Richard Wagner
Members of the Bayreuth Festival

Here's today's Kids Commute:


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!

KC 225
"Entrance (March) of the Toreadors" ("Les voici!")
"Carmen"
Georges Bizet
Richard Hickox/London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Here's today's Kids Commute:


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