Kids' Commute: Mother Goose Suite - Tom Thumb

May 19, 2015

Learn about the Maurice Ravel's "Mother Goose Suite," this week on the Kids' Commute!

This week on the Kids’ Commute, we’re exploring the Mother Goose Suite, by Maurice Ravel. We’ll hear David Ogden Stiers narrate some of the text from the stories of Mother Goose, and get to listen to the music associated with each story...Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, Beauty and the Beast, and more! 

So, are you ready for some stories? 

French composer Maurice Ravel wrote the Mother Goose Suite in 1910. He took several fairy tales, and then wrote the related music not for children to just listen to, but to perform. The suite of music was originally written as a piano duet for two children named Mimi and Jean, ages 6 and 7.


Today, we hear some music from Tom Thumb, also known as Hop-on-My-Thumb. 
Now, just take a minute and look at your thumb- that is how big Tom Thumb is...A little guy who is just as big as your thumb! 

Interestingly, Tom’s adventures at one point are very similar to Hansel and Gretel’s. 
So, Tom Thumb and his brothers get lost in the woods, but he leaves a trail of white pebbles that will lead them back home. So, the first night they make their way back home safe and sound. But, the second night they get lost in the woods again! This time, Tom leaves a bread crumb trail. As they soon find out however, the birds eat the breadcrumbs, leaving Tom and and his brother to try to find their way back home without any help.

So, in case you’re ever wandering through the woods, never use breadcrumbs as a trail to lead you back out!

Let’s listen to David Ogden Stiers narrate some of Tom Thumb for us. Then we’ll hear the music to go along with the story! Keep your ears open to hear how the music illustrates exactly what’s happening in the story!  

Music piece for today:
Tom Thumb by Maurice Ravel, performed by Nina Flyer, and Chie Nagatani

Here's a video of Maurice Ravel's Tom Thumb suite:

Listen to the Kids’ Commute live on Classical IPR every weekday morning at 7:40am or listen to the archived episode at the top of the post.