Beethoven has to be one of the most interesting characters to talk about in music class

Ludwig Van Beethoven has to be one of the most unusual and interesting characters to ever compose music. Here are a few ideas to help introduce him into your music lesson plans:

Use Beethoven’s life as the topic for a short children’s story. You can describe all the parts of Beethoven’s life that children may be interested in. Alternatively, you could write a story about one event in Beethoven’s life or a story based on one of his pieces of music. Include some illustrations or pictures from the internet.

Beethoven composed most of his most beautiful music during the last portion of his life when he was almost completely deaf. Beethoven would play the piano while biting a metal rod with his teeth that was attached to the soundboard so that he could feel the vibrations during this period.

Use some of the suggestions below to explore the issue of deafness and music and then hold a class discussion to share your insights.

Practical activities:

Touch and feel the vibrations of various musical instruments while you play them (how do different pitches feel different?) Have you ever been to a rock concert and felt the ground vibrating with sound of the bass guitar or drum kit?

Listen to The Moonlight Sonata, which was written as Beethoven’s hearing began to deteriorate and the String Quartet No. 13 which was written when he was completely deaf. This piece was included on Voyager’s “Golden Record” it was considered so brilliant.

Experiment singing a song in your mind rather than out loud. Can you “hear” it?

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