Rock the Cradle 2021: a Saturday-morning video series

Rock the Cradle Play Along - Episode 6 (MPR Video)

Here at The Current, we live for joy, play and music discovery. We believe that music makes ordinary moments extraordinary. So this spring, we're making Saturday mornings extra special for kids and their grown-ups by bringing Rock the Cradle straight to your homes. Starting May 15, we are bringing some of the best parts of our much-loved in-person event to video. Over six video episodes, The Current will bring the dance party to you with Rock the Cradle Play Along. We have invited some of our best musician friends and other fun guests to get your weekend started with movement, play, learning, super fun surprises and of course some music! We can't wait to rock out together!

Big thanks to our Rock the Cradle Play Along sponsors: Minneapolis Institute of Art, Bell Museum, Pizza Luce, Little Moments Count, MacPhail Center for Music, Sala Architects and Park Dental.

Episode 6

In episode 6, we visit Annie Humphrey on her farm, meet her horses Harry and Bella, and enjoy a drum and vocal performance. We learn about the bongos, steel drum and talking drum with MacPhail Center for Music. House of Dance keeps us moving and spinning! We sing and dance along with Siama's Congo Roots. Plus, Koo Koo Kanga Roo share another new song, "Backyard Swimsuit" — the perfect tune for your next backyard slip-and-slide party! Watch the video in the window above.

What you'll see in this episode

Video FeatureStart time in video
Intro with Bill DeVille00:00
Annie Humphrey: Drum Song01:15
MacPhail Center for Music's Amanda Breininger: Drum Exploration04:17
Little Moments Count: Sing with Baby06:53
House of Dance: three breakdance spins07:56
Siama's Congo Roots: "Malembe"12:56
Koo Koo Kanga Roo: "Backyard Swimsuit"18:10

Episode 5

In episode 5 of Rock the Cradle Play Along, SaulPaul shares two songs — and there will be dancing! MacPhail Center for Music introduces us to the cello. We get into breakdancing footwork with House of Dance. Koo Koo Kanga Roo get silly and crafty with glitter. And Nur-D wants you to meet his dog B-I-N-G-O.

What you'll see in this episode

Video FeatureStart time in video
Intro with Maddie00:00
SaulPaul, "I am Enough"0:57
MacPhail Center for Music: Meet the Cello05:10
SaulPaul, "Vibes"08:17
Little Moments Count: Dancing with Baby13:19
House of Dance: Break Dancing Lesson14:12
Koo Koo Kanga Roo: Glitter Crafting18:51
Nur-D, "Bingo" (Remix)21:50

Episode 4

In Episode 4, Koo Koo Kanga Roo bring us another new song, "Ice Cold Lemonade," and share their secret recipe for making lemonade. We learn how to make a pepperoni pizza with Chef Dan from Pizza Lucé. House of Dance will teach us two new moves, the A Town Stomp, and the Biz Markie. Preservation Hall Jazz will keep us smiling and singing. Plus, we will sing and learn the sign language for "The More We Get Together" with MacPhail Center for Music … and more!

What you'll see in this episode

Video FeatureStart time in video
Intro with Bill DeVille00:00
Koo Koo Kanga Roo, "Ice Cold Lemonade"01:11
Pizza Lucé: Make a Pizza with Chef Dan04:27
House of Dance: two social hip-hop dance moves07:33
Pres Hall Jazz Band, "When You're Smiling"11:42
Little Moments Count: Sing a bedtime song16:08
MacPhail Center for Music's Ivory Doublette: "The More We Get Together"17:01
Pres Hall Jazz Band, "Shake It and Break It"; "Down In New Orleans"19:35

Episode 3

In episode 3, Elena Moon Park introduces us to some of her musical friends, and she shares a Taiwanese train song. MacPhail Center for Music's Cari Gregerson helps us create a rain stick. We continue to build our break-dancing skills with House of Dance. We get sparkly with Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Plus, we explore a really cool collection of instruments with the Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble and Minneapolis Institute of Art!

What you'll see in this episode

Video FeatureStart time in video
Intro with Jade00:00
Elena Moon Park, "Brilliant New Idea"01:44
Sumunar Gamelan Performance06:08
Elena Moon Park, "Diu Diu Deng" (Taiwanese Train Song)10:17
Little Moments Count: Babies Love a Good Beat15:57
MacPhail Center for Music: Make a Rainstick16:51
House of Dance: Break Dancing Lesson19:25
Koo Koo Kanga Roo, "Glitter"23:59

Episode 2

In episode two of Rock the Cradle Play Along, Gaby Moreno delights us with a couple of Spanish children's songs. We continue our breakdancing lessons with House of Dance. MacPhail Center for Music's Adam Marshall (of the Bazillions) teaches us how to make a paper fan. Then we put that fan to use when we dance along with Zorongo Flamenco and the Minneapolis institute of Art. We also get silly at a Cat Party with Koo Koo Kanga Roo!

What you'll see in this episode

Video FeatureStart time in video
Intro with Maddie00:00
Gaby Moreno, "La Rana Debajo del Agua"01:04
House of Dance: Break Dancing Lesson05:19
Koo Koo Kanga Roo, "Cat Party"09:14
Paper Fan Project with Adam Marshall12:56
Little Moments Count: Sing to Your Baby15:56
MIA and Zorongo Flamenco: Flamenco Dance Lesson16:50
Gaby Moreno, "Arroró Mi Niño"23:17

Episode 1

We are so excited to kick off this video series with so many fun friends. In episode one, we are going to Learn how to break dance with House of Dance. We'll hear new songs from Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Learn about duets and sing along with Gaelynn Lea. MacPhail Center for Music will teach us about the difference between high and low. We will get creative with Bell Museum and learn how to draw a caterpillar. Plus lots more!

What you'll see in this episode

Video FeatureStart time in video
Intro with Jade00:00
Koo Koo Kanga Roo, "Putt Putt Butt Butt"01:45
MacPhail Center for Music: High and Low04:50
Gaelynn Lea, "Bird Song"07:10
Little Moments Count: Sing to Your Baby12:10
Bell Museum: Draw a Caterpillar13:05
House of Dance: Break Dancing Lesson18:39
Koo Koo Kanga Roo, "Sticky Icky"23:36

About the people in the videos

Elena Moon Park is a musician and educator living in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is a co-Artistic Director of the Brooklyn-based organization Found Sound Nation, which uses collaborative music creation to connect people across cultural divides, and is an active freelance multi-instrumentalist in New York City, specializing in family music and contemporary classical music. In 2012, Elena released Rabbit Days and Dumplings, her debut album for families featuring folk and children's music from East Asia. She performs and tours with all-ages musicians Sonia De Los Santos and Dan Zanes, and leads her own all-ages folk rock band, Elena Moon Park and Friends. She released a second album, Unhurried Journey, in summer 2020. | Twitter | Instagram

Gaby Moreno — Born and raised in Guatemala, the Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and producer Gaby Moreno received a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist in 2013. Her album Ilusión was nominated for a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album. She also co-wrote the theme song for NBC's hit television show Parks and Recreation. Armed with a warm, soulful sound, Moreno creates music that offers an intoxicating invitation into her musical world for English and Spanish speakers alike. She is preparing to release a new album later this year. | Twitter | Instagram

Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music's Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, and not long after she hit the road with her husband Paul. So far she has toured in 45 states and 9 countries, captivating audiences around the world with her unique mix of haunting original songs and traditional fiddle tunes. In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn also does speaking engagements about Disability Rights, finding inner freedom, and accessibility in the arts. She uses her music as a platform to advocate for disabled people and to promote positive social change. She is currently working on a memoir about her touring adventures and disability advocacy that she plans to release in 2022. | Instagram | Twitter

House of Dance Twin Cities — Established in 2014, House of Dance Twin Cities is Minnesota's first and premier dance studio dedicated to teaching breakdancing, popping & locking and hip hop dance classes to people of all ages and experience levels. The instructors humbly maintain that they are students themselves, dedicated to improving their dance so that they can share more with others. They take their art and their jobs very seriously and appreciate everyone who entrusts their learning with them. | Instagram

Koo Koo Kanga Roo is a dance party of the senses. For the last 12 years, lifelong friends and collaborators Bryan and Neil have toured the globe delighting fans with their high-energy music, infectious positivity, and interactive live show. Of course, the global pandemic of 2020 threatened to put an end to the carefree fun that had come to define the band, but instead of putting the group on pause or looking for office jobs, Bryan and Neil doubled down and created their most triumphant and expansive album yet. | Instagram | Twitter

Nur-D is taking the hip-hop world by storm! One of Minnesota's fastest-rising stars, Nur-D has been everywhere, including First Avenue, Paisley Park and US Bank Stadium. With his powerful vocals, witty lyricism, and heart laid out on every track, it's no wonder that Nur-D is on the way to becoming everyone's seventh-favorite hip-hop person. | Instagram | Twitter

Preservation Hall Jazz Band — Every night, Preservation Hall presents intimate, acoustic concerts featuring bands made up of a current collective of more than 50 local master Traditional New Orleans Jazz musicians. These masters have learned the traditional style from the greats who played before them at Preservation Hall. There is no audition process to play at the Hall. While many of our musicians are related to the original players by lineage, they are all connected through the sheer power of tradition. | Instagram | Twitter

SaulPaul is an award-winning musician with a message. In addition to recording music, he has also presented three TEDx Talks, performed at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and has been featured on America's Got Talent. His life story of transitioning from tragedy to triumph has been told on screen via the documentary Tower to Tower as well as in his memoir Be the Change. Most recently, SaulPaul founded Change Water, a socially conscious bottled water company that donates to the local community with each case of water sold. Whether via art, entrepreneurship or community service, SaulPaul is committed to #BeTheChange. | Instagram | Twitter

Siama's Congo Roots — Back in Africa, Siama Matuzungidi recorded hundreds of songs and toured the world with popular artists. Now based in Minneapolis, he's known for his catchy songs, rhythmic guitar, spirited singing and traditional instruments like mbira, balafon and lokole. His wife and musical partner, Dallas Johnson, plays shakers and encourages everyone to sing along in Lingala, Kikongo and English as they bring Siama's rural childhood to life. They've earned World Music Pedagogy certificates from Smithsonian Folkways, and they're Teaching Musicians for COMPAS, Classical MPR's 'Class Notes' and the Schubert Club. Their children's album, "Land of Yangalele" received a Parents' Choice Parent-Approved award. | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Rock the Cradle sponsors

Minneapolis Institute of Art
MIA logo

Bell Museum
Bell Museum logo

Pizza Lucé
Pizza Luce logo

Little Moments Count
Little Moments Count logo

Sing Play Learn with MacPhail®
Sing Play Learn with MacPhail logo

Sala Architects
Sala Architects logo

Park Dental
Park Dental logo

Rock the Cradle Play Along is also made possible by generous contributions to MPR's Inspired By You campaign
MPR I APM Inspired by You Campaign

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