Learning about Music and Deafness through Beethoven's music

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

Write a short children’s story about the life of Beethoven. Include the most important parts of Beethoven’s life that younger 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.

Despite the hearing loss towards the end of his life, Beethoven was still able to compose some of his most beautiful music. 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.

Hold a class discussion on deafness and share insights on it, after looking at some of the activities below.

Play some musical instruments that you can touch and feel the vibrations (what happens when you play a higher or lower note?). Have you ever felt the ground vibrate when you have been at a rock concert from the sound of the lower instruments?

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.

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