The following is a post from contributing writer, Mary Prather.
This post contains affiliate links.
Beethoven is one of the three great musical B’s (along with Bach and Brahms). Born in the height of the Classical Music Era in 1770, his life was full of great success and much tragedy.
Learning about this musical “character” makes for a fun unit study for your children. No matter what your child’s age, there are so many engaging recordings, books, and activities to choose from. I hope this Beethoven “round up” guides you through learning about this epic composer!
A study of Beethoven doesn’t have to be time consuming. Dedicate your lunch times for one week to learning about Beethoven and you will know more than most! Or, dedicate 30 minutes a day three times per week for 2 weeks, however you structure your unit study time, just make the time for great music!
Most importantly, be sure to immerse your children in Beethoven’s music. Find Beethoven recordings, create a Beethoven Pandora station, or play The Best of Beethoven from YouTube.
Beethoven’s music is full of passion and fury, sadness and strife. Beethoven himself said:
Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears from the eyes of woman.
His music definitely can do both. As you and your children learn about Beethoven, be sure to take time and learn about the man himself, his strengths and weaknesses, and his passions in life. Oftentimes learning about a composer can teach us much about ourselves and those around us, and Beethoven is certainly not an exception.
Following are my favorite resources for learning about Beethoven:
- Beethoven Lives Upstairs – a great movie about Beethoven. You can watch it in its entirety on YouTube for free! It is also available for purchase, and also in CD format.
- Radio Shows about Beethoven from Classics for Kids: short and engaging – We love everything at Classics for Kids!
- Ludwig Beethoven and The Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler (The composer biographies by Opal Wheeler are excellent!)
- Famous Children Beethoven
- Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Composers: Ludwig van Beethoven
- Beethoven: The Story of a Little Boy Who Was Forced to Practice by Thomas Tapper – a FREE download!
- Beethoven Lives Upstairs – a free unit from Homeschool Share
- Cool Composers: Beethoven Notebooking Pages
- Beethoven Lessons from Making Music Fun
- Free Beethoven Unit Study from Peas in a Pod – a nice compilation of resources
Mary is the author of a music appreciation curriculum for children, SQUILT, which aims to makes teaching great music EASY for the non musical parent. She also blogs about her homeschool journey at Homegrown Learners. Her two children (ages 12 and 8) keep her learning and growing!
*image courtesy Clipart.com