YourClassical Adventures

YourClassical Adventures

Liz Lyon hosts YourClassical Adventures, a presentation of classical music for kids (and their grown-ups), produced by Melanie Renate. Join us as we ask questions that will help families explore classical music together!


May 15, 2022 5 min

A metronome is a musical device that produces a clicking sound to help you keep a certain tempo. You can snap your fingers or tap your foot to keep tempo, too. Join host Liz Lyon as we listen to classical music pieces with a wide range of tempos. One tempo is so slow that the piece of music lasts more than 600 years!

Episode 85 playlist

John Cage: Organ² (As Slow As Possible) — When this piece was written, composer John Cage did no...

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This time of year can bring a lot of interesting storms. Join host Liz Lyon as we use our imagination to picture thunderstorms while discovering classical music that was inspired by the rain, wind and rumbles of these storms.

Episode 84 playlist

Eric Whitacre: Cloudburst — Handbells, a thunder sheet, bass drum, suspended cymbal, wind chimes and piano all accompany an eight-part choir. The added claps, snaps and thick smacks by the ...

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Part 2 of a two-part episode: Video game music has evolved over time from simple 8-bit tones to classical-music masterpieces. Join host Liz Lyon as we listen to some video-game compositions that have made a name for themselves in the world of classical music.

Episode 83 playlist

Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori: Halo Theme — For the theme from Halo, composer Martin O’Donnell was inspired by the Beatles’ song “Yesterday.” This...

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What sort of relationship do video games and classical music share? Join host Liz Lyon for the first part of our exploration of video-game music and how it has developed a deep relationship with classical music. Part 2 will be posted April 30.

Episode 82 playlist

Koji Kondo: Super Mario Brothers Theme — This was originally composed for the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System video game Super Mario Brothers. Sound designer Koji Kond...

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April 17, 2022 5 min

Nobuo Uematsu composed music for the Final Fantasy video-game series. The music has become so popular that orchestras have performed it on tour. Uematsu has never had a formal musical education, but he was passionate and persistent, and now his music is legendary.

Episode 81 playlist

Nobuo Uematsu: Final Fantasy, Main Theme — As Uematsu was seeking out work as a composer, a friend asked him to help her write music for video games...

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April 9, 2022 5 min

There is a strange instrument that was once believed to have magical powers. Join host Liz Lyon as we learn a little about the history of the glass armonica and listen to music composed for this unique instrument.

Episode 80 Glass Armonica

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Adagio for Glass Armonica — In the last year of Mozart’s life, he composed this piece for the glass armonica, which has been referred to as one of unearthly beauty.


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April 3, 2022 5 min

Classical music is often thought of as strict and serious, but throughout history composers each had their own sense of humor that they would let shine through in some of their pieces. Join host Liz Lyon and producer Melanie Renate as they share laughter and comedy through classical music.

Episode 79 playlist

Joseph Haydn: Surprise Symphony — Haydn was known to include musical jokes in his music. In the second movement of his Surpr...

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March 26, 2022 5 min

When you close your eyes and think of being brave and courageous, what comes to mind? Join host Liz Lyon as we explore courage through classical music.

Episode 78 playlist

Alan Silvestri: The Avengers — To compose the theme for The Avengers, Alan Silvestri drew inspiration from a specific scene where all of the superheroes were suddenly gathered, standing still, shoulder to shoulder in the middle of a battle. He wanted the music to...

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March 19, 2022 5 min

Women have played a major role in classical music history, but because they were women often their work was lost or simply overlooked. Join host Liz Lyon and producer Melanie Renate as we discuss a few of the countless women who have made a large impact in classical music.

Episode 77 playlist

Hélène de Montgeroult: Thème Varié dans le genre moderne — Hélène de Montgeroult plays a large role in classical music history. She was the f...

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March 13, 2022 5 min

In music and in life, when someone makes a creative choice “in the moment” its called improvising. Join host Liz Lyon as we explore ways composers and musicians have played with improvising in their music.

Episode 76 playlist

Johann Sebastian Bach: Musical Offering Ricercar a 3 — Bach was well known for his improvising skill. This piece was composed through the use of improvisation and was based on a musical theme.

LISTEN — Johann S...

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March 6, 2022 5 min

Electric string instruments can give new energy to familiar classical pieces and also give familiar pop and rock songs a new classical-inspired twist. Join host Liz Lyon as she touches on the history of electric string instruments, and listen to some pieces performed on electric strings.

Episode 75 playlist

Stuff Smith: How High the Moon — Hezekiah Leroy Gordon Smith, better known as Stuff Smith, was an American jazz violinist cre...

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February 26, 2022 5 min

Working and collaborating together is a great way to build a friendship. Join two friends, host Liz Lyon and producer Melanie Renate, as they explore friendship in classical music.

Episode 74 playlist

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Haydn Quartets — Not much is documented about their friendship, but what we do know is that Mozart and Franz Joseph Haydn enjoyed spending time together and that they respected and inspired one another.


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February 19, 2022 5 min

Do you have a favorite band or musician? Join host Liz Lyon as we listen to a variety of pieces from one of her favorite groups, the Harlem Quartet

Episode 73 playlist

The Harlem Quartet: Take the A Train — The Harlem Quartet is a string quartet, meaning there are four musicians who all play string instruments. This piece is the title track from their first album.

LISTEN — The Harlem Quartet: Take the A Train


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February 12, 2022 5 min

Duets are made up of two musicians making music together, but how many different kinds of duets are there? The combinations seem endless. Join host Liz Lyon, along with producer Melanie Renate, as they pair together to play a few of their favorite examples of duets.

Episode 72 playlist

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sonata for Piano 4 Hands — Wolfgang and his sister Nannerl both wrote piano duets and would often play them together, side ...

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February 6, 2022 5 min

Did you know that ensembles can be different sizes? Join host Liz Lyon as we listen to music performed by a variety of ensembles of differing sizes.

Episode 71 playlist

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 2 (“Song of a New Race”) — Orchestras are usually large ensembles with lots of musicians. The Detriot Symphony Orchestra performs with close to 100 musicians. Here they perform a piece by William Grant Still.

LISTEN — William Grant S...

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January 30, 2022 5 min

Home can be many things. It can be a person or place that brings us comfort or offers inspiration. Join host Liz Lyon as we listen to pieces of music inspired by the people and places different musicians consider to be their home.

Episode 70 playlist

Itzhak Perlman: A Yiddishe Mamme — Violinist Itzhak Perlman’s mother was his support system when he became famous at a young age. As an adult, he recorded music that reminded him of h...

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January 23, 2022 5 min

Have you ever seen a piece of clothing or a piece of art that inspired you to try to make your own version? Composers do this regularly with pieces of music. Join host Liz Lyon as we explore variations and arrangements.

Episode 69 playlist

Pablo De Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy — Pablo De Sarasate loved operas and would sometimes pick a favorite opera melody and turn it into a piece he could play on his violin. This piece is based on a ...

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January 16, 2022 5 min

When Xuefei Yang was a young girl, she became the first Chinese guitarist to enter an international competition. It was one of many firsts for her as she paved the way for future female guitarists from China.

Episode 68 playlist

Xuefei Yang: Romance de Amor — This is a piece off of Xuefei Yang’s debut album.

LISTEN — Xuefei Yang: Romance de Amor

Xuefei Yang: Romance de Amor by

Xuefei ...

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January 9, 2022 5 min

The modern guitar is a popular instrument, but did you know there are many different types of guitars? Join host Liz Lyon as we take a trip around the world to listen to the sounds of different guitars throughout history.

Episode 67 playlist

Issam Rafea and Gao Hong: From Our World to Yours — This piece showcases the oud, which is a pear-shaped, stringed instrument popular in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Armenia and Turkey.


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December 26, 2021 5 min

The month of December is packed full of different holidays and we all celebrate them in different ways. Music can unite us all in celebration. Bells are a common sound throughout the festive season. Join host, Liz Lyon as we explore music that features different types of bells.

Episode 66 playlist

Sonos Handbell Ensemble: Silent Night — The oldest existing hand bells are found in China from 1600 B.C.

LISTEN — Sonos Handbell Ensemble...

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