Book Studies

Free Music Studies: Ludwig van Beethoven

Free Music Studies: Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven: The Story of a Little Boy Who Was Forced to Practice

Beethoven was a German pianist and composer spanning the transition from the late Classical period to the early Romantic period.

 

Free eBook

 

Suggestions
  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
  • Create a composer timeline covering each of the composer in our series. You’ll want to add both Bach and Beethoven.
  • View a photo of the house where Beethoven was born.
  • Learn more about Beethoven-Haus.
  • View photos of music pages, letters, medals, and instruments in the museum as mentioned in the book. You’ll also want to view Beethoven’s ear trumpets.
  • Learn more about Beethoven’s family.
  • Listen to samples of “9 Variations on a March by Dressler.”
  • Learn more about Christian Gottlob Neefe.
  • Make a list of Beethoven’s daily activities by the time he was thirteen.
  • Beethoven kept a notebook for musical ideas — his area of interest. How do you enjoy spending your time? Keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas as they come to you!
  • Read more about Beethoven’s organ.
  • We’ll learn more about Mozart in a later study, but you can read a brief biography at ClassicsForKids.com.
  • We’ll also learn more about Papa Haydn in a later study, but you can read a brief biography at ClassicsForKids.com.
  • Listen to Beethoven’s “C Major Concerto” (fast forward to hear the piano portion).
  • Use the description of Beethoven given by the little boy to draw a likeness of him.
  • Learn more about sound. Write a narration of what you have learned.
  • Experiment at making different tones with this BBC interactive.
  • Explore rhythm at the San Francisco Symphony kids site.
  • View a photo of Beethoven’s last grand piano.
  • The author characterizes Beethoven’s loss of hearing as the result of the touch of a “strange Fate” — a cruel, terrible, depressing, and awful act. Of course, we know that nothing happens outside of God’s Providence, and that all things work together for good to those who love God. Copy Romans 8:28 onto Drawing & Writing Paper. Narrate what that verse means underneath and include an illustration at the top.
  • What was the result of Beethoven’s loss of hearing? (“Year after year he continued to write symphonies and concertos, sonatas, songs, choral and chamber music.”) Would you characterize Beethoven’s gift of those years and years of music a “terrible” act of “Fate”? (Most of his greatest symphonies were composed after he lost his hearing.)
  • We’ll learn more about Schubert later in our study, but for now you can read this brief biography at ClassicsForKids.com.
  • Develop a character sketch of Beethoven based on the information in the book.
  • Learn what a concerto and sonata are.
  • You can write or narrate your story on Beethoven notebooking pages below.
  • Use the “Some Questions” section as oral or written narration prompts.
  • Learn more about Beethoven from the Book of Knowledge:

    Hadyn had been a liveried servant of the Esterhazys’. Mozart had been dependent on various princes of the church or state for much of his living. Beethoven was born at a time when a small group of states on the other side of the Atlantic had declared independence from their mother-country, England. The French people had risen against the monarchy and formed their first republic. Independence was in the air; and Beethoven wrote as an independent musician for Austrian princes who were his patrons and friends, not his masters. Before long his symphonies appeared in public as well as in private concerts; all who cared for music could hear them.

    Beethoven’s love for the sights and sounds of nature and his disregard for his health in the face of stormy weather probably contributed much toward making him deaf soon after he was thirty. He loved to imitate the sounds he heard. The most famous example of this is the Sixth Symphony, known as the Pastorale. This symphony is in every sense program music. The story is that of a person arriving in the country, the people whom he meets, a brook, a storm, shepherd’s pipes and the thankful feeling that comes at the end of a storm when all is at rest.

    The pianoforte of his time, limited as it would seem to us, was showing its possibilities as a solo instrument. Beethoven wrote many great compositions for it, some of them so powerful that he must have known that the piano itself would grow in strength and color to meet the demands he made on it. He wrote thirty-two sonatas for it….

    Besides writing solo sonatas for the piano, Beethoven used the instrument in many combinations. There are five piano concerti (and only one for the violin), ten sonatas for the piano with violin, and five with violincello. The piano settings for his songs are unusually beautiful and he combined the instrument with the violin and the ‘cello in his eight trios. He is probably most famous, however, for his nine symphonies. In the first eight, written between 1800 and 1814, he combined orchestral instruments as no one before him had dreamed of combining them. Perhaps this was because his hearing had to be done in his head; Beethoven was by this time almost completely deaf.

    “Three Great Centuries in Music” from The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

Ludwig van Beethoven, Composer
Simple biography at DSOKids.com.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Biography at New York University.

 

Selected Works

Free Music Studies: Ludwig van BeethovenBeethoven: Greatest Hits
Our favorite series.

“Moonlight Sonata”

“Pathetique Mvmt 2”

“Pastoral”

Eroica

“Fur Elise”

Symphony No. 5 in C Minor

 

Activities

Ludwig van Beethoven
Biography, selected works, and activity sheet at ClassicsForKids.com.

Ludwig van Beethoven: Eroica
Interactive look at the piece from the San Francisco Symphony.

The Animated Story of Beethoven
This sample video from Nest Learning includes a free activity book to download.

Beethoven Only
Live streaming with … you guessed it, compositions from only Beethoven.

Timeline
Use this interactive at ReadWriteThink.org to create a timeline showing the major events in Beethoven’s life. You can also use it to create a composer’s timeline.

 

Books

Free Music Studies: Ludwig van BeethovenBeethoven Lives Upstairs by Barbara Nichol
Part of the Classical Kids series, Beethoven’s character is shown through an interesting story and fun read! Recommended.

Free Music Studies: Ludwig van BeethovenLudwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells
Some really enjoy these books by Opal Wheeler.

“Ludwig van Beethoven”
Chapter from Stories of Great Musicians by Katherine Lois Scobey.

“Ludwig van Beethoven”
Chapter from The World’s Greatest Men of Music by Harriette Brower. Subtitled Story-Lives of Master Musicians, this public domain title tracks nicely with our free music studies.

“Ludwig van Beethoven”
Chapter from First Studies in Music Biography also by Thomas Tapper.

“Ludwig van Beethoven”
Chapter from Essentials in Music History also by Thomas Tapper.

Free Music Studies: Ludwig van BeethovenChild’s Own Book of Great Musicians: The Complete Collection from Bach to Wagner
Complete collection on Kindle (can be read on any device with the Kindle app).

Free Music Studies: Ludwig van BeethovenThe Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence by Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson
Our favorite overall music appreciation reference book. Over 300 pages long covering 43 composers along with Christmas carols. Not only covers the influence of the composer but also how his faith influenced his works. Recommended reading and listening guides at the end of each section. Highly recommended!

 

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Walking With Beethoven
Lesson plan from the San Francisco Symphony where students listen to the second movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 in F major, Op. 68 (Scene by the Brook) and illustrate what they hear.

Waltz by Three’s
Another lesson plan from the San Francisco Symphony where students use Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” to learn about the waltz and skip counting by 3s.

Beethoven’s Thoughts
San Francisco Symphony lesson plan that uses Beethoven’s 5th Symphony to learn more about tempo and rhythm.

Hero or Tyrant: Connecting Beethoven’s Third Symphony to Napoleon
Also from the San Fransisco Symphony, older students listen to Eroica while developing critical thinking/listening skills and learning more about history. Also see part 2.

Romans Study for Kids
Great look at Romans 8:28–30 from Proven Path Ministries.

 

Printables & Notebooking Pages

World Map
At EduPlace.com for locating Germany and Austria.

Germany Map
PAT map for locating Bonn, Germany.

Austria Map
PAT map for locating Vienna, Austria.

Beethoven Coloring Page
At Crayola.com.

Free 18-Page Composer Notebooking Set {Time Limited}
This free set of generic pages from HomeschoolNotebooking.com goes perfectly with our studies.

 

Beethoven: The Story of a Little Boy Who Was Forced to Practice Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

 

Enjoy the entire series:

Free Music Studies: Child's Own Book of Great Musicians