Here are a few teaching ideas to get your students inspired about the life of Beethoven – one of the most interesting characters to ever put pen to manuscript.

Watch the excerpt from the movie Mr. Holland’s Opus where he tries to communicate the idea of music to his deaf son through lights and color.

Discussion topics:

What would Beethoven and other deaf people have trouble doing or experiencing in everyday life?

What are some ways deaf people compensate for these difficulties?

How do you think Beethoven “heard” the music he was writing and playing?

How can you “hear” music without physically hearing it?

Do you know of any other deaf people who have overcome their disability in any area of endeavor? (See here for a list )

These are just a few ideas for how music students can get inspired about classical composers through our lesson plan series on classical composers.