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Pops for Tots

Conductor Carl Topilow has fun with Aesop's Fables.

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Carl Topilow teaches the kids a thing or two about - music.
  • Carl Topilow teaches the kids a thing or two about music.

SAT 6/7

Cleveland Pops Orchestra conductor Carl Topilow thinks kids should get to know classical music as early as possible. "In our society, the best learners are listeners," he says. "It's all part of focusing and concentrating." Topilow will be at the Borders in Beachwood on Saturday, presenting a musical version of Aesop's Fables. "You can read these particular stories, and that's fine," he says. "But the music adds so much to the drama and imagination."

Armed with a red clarinet and some of Aesop's classic tales, Topilow hopes to get young listeners thinking and imagining. "As they hear the story, they can make some pictures in their mind," he says. "You can say, 'The lion roars.' But when the trombone plays rrroooaaarrr, it takes it a step further."

The Cleveland Pops Orchestra recently released a children's album, Music to Grow On, which touts the very same message Topilow plans to share at his Borders appearance. "A good piece of music tends to not only emphasize the dramatic content of the piece, but it also tends to give the kids extra energy," he says. "It really sparks their imagination." Topilow's musical version of Aesop's Fables begins at 11 a.m. at Borders (2101 Richmond Road in Beachwood). Admission is free. Call 216-292-2660 for more information. -- Michael Gallucci

Berry Bonds
Summit County Metro Parks share The First Strawberries.

SUN 6/8

Next time the kids are being bratty, remember Teresa Hurray's tale about the "berries of love." On Sunday, the Summit County Metro Parks naturalist will recount the story of The First Strawberries, a Cherokee fable in which a husband and his wife scream at each other. As the wife stalks off, faster than the husband can run after her, the sun throws strawberries at her feet. As the story goes, the strawberries represent friendship and respect that are "as sweet as the taste of ripe, red berries." Yep, there's a lesson here. After reading the book, Hurray will lead kids on a short hike to look for strawberries. The First Strawberries is at 2 p.m. Sunday, at the Pheasant Run Area of the Silver Creek Metro Park on Hametown Road in Norton. Admission is free; call 330-865-8065. -- Cris Glaser

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