Friday, October 24, 2008

Beethoven Lesson

Music Lesson: Ludwig Van Beethoven

Teach your child the following lesson:


Beethoven was one of the most influential and respected composers of his time and played a key role in bridging classical and romantic music. Beethoven was a composer and played the piano in the 1700’s. He was born in December, 1770 and grew up in Bonn, Germany where he lived with his parents and 6 brothers and sisters (although 3 of his siblings died after infancy).

At age 8 Beethoven had his first known public performance on the piano, and at age 14 he started playing the organ for a choir. When Beethoven was 17 years old he went to Vienna, Austria to study with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. After Mozart died Beethoven started studying with Joseph Haydn.

When Beethoven was about 27 years old, he may have gotten tinnitus (ringing in his ears caused by infection or loud noises) which caused him to eventually go deaf. Although Beethoven was devastated from his hearing loss, he figured out that he could hear the music through vibrations from his piano (which is why he was still able to write music).

Beethoven’s Music:
Scholars have divided Beethoven’s musical works into three periods:

During the first music period, Beethoven was finding “his personal voice.” He wrote: string quartets, piano sonatas, piano concertos, and symphonies. Here is an example of music Beethoven wrote during his first music period: Beethoven's Symphony No. 1

During the second period, Beethoven wrote: an opera, symphonies, piano concertos, and quartet music. The second period is known as Beethoven’s independent period because he was known as one of the best pianists and composers of his time. Beethoven became friends with some of the richest and noble families in Vienna. He gained prominent devoted fans such as Prince Lichnowsky. Beethoven would often make the Prince wait in the waiting room on purpose so he could compose music! Here is an example of Beethoven's second period music: The Eroica Symphony

During the last period, Beethoven’s music became reflective. He started to use variations (new rhythms, new meter, new tempos, new embellishments, and new figurations) in his music. Although Beethoven had bad health and family struggles during this period, he still managed to write some of his best musical works during this time. Here is an example of Beethoven's third period music: Beethoven String Quartet Op. 131

A History of Western Music, Grout and Palisca

Beethoven Coloring Activity:

Click here to print a coloring page of Beethoven.

Quiz on Beethoven:

Click here to give your child a quiz on Beethoven.


Lance said...

It's great to get to know this awesome composer better - thanks for sharing it here! I learned a lot myself - not to pass that on to my kids!! You had some fun choices on the quiz, too!

Kaci said...

My hubby loves classical music. He's done a lot of research/studying, etc on it. It's awesome to read more about it. :)

angie said...

Great lesson. I'm planning on using it this weekend.

Pecos Blue said...

Very cool!

Marie N. said...

Your post reminds me...Someone once gave my kids an audio tape set with dramatized versions of musicians' biographies and selections from their compositions. They LOVED listening to those tapes.

Daniele said...

thanks for this post...I'll be using it!