Make learning about Franz Joseph Haydn in the classroom fun!

This is an excerpt from our Printable Music Lesson Plans series on great composers. These are just a couple of the ideas found in the Lesson Plans.
A couple of ideas for a lesson plan about Franz Joseph Haydn:

Have the students Imagine that they are Prince Esterhazy looking for a new Kapellmeister for their court. Ask them to write a job advertisement outlining the duties of the position and the type of person you are looking for. Encourage them to write down details of the Esterhaza palace where the applicant will live and work.

What if TV talk shows were around in the 18th Century? Create a talk show segment interviewing Haydn on the success of one of his tours to London. Talk about a concert, the people Haydn met, Haydn’s opinion of the current fashion trends and anything else of interest. Don’t forget that Haydn was known for his great wit! This could be done as a class discussion, or you could break off into small groups to do the activity.
Ask the students to Research and write a paragraph about the musical form the ‘Symphony’. There are a lot of interesting facts to learn like the number of movements, the standard instruments used at the time and the size of the orchestras. Have them find out which other composers wrote symphonies.

Listening Activity: “The Emperor” String Quartet
The form of this movement is a “Theme and Variations” which begins with a melody that is repeated four times, each time played by a different instrument of the quartet with a varying accompaniment. Divide the class into 3 groups representing the violins, the viola and the cello. Have the students stand up if they hear their group play the melody The violins and viola will be difficult to distinguish the first time. For reference, a list of the instruments playing the main theme in each variation is included below:
Theme: violin 1
Variation 1: Violin 2
Variation 2: Cello
Variation 3: Viola
Variation 4: Violin 1

A recording of this work can be found on youTube

Note: The theme from this movement became the tune for the German national anthem. Listening to a recording of the anthem first may assist with recognition of the theme in the listening activity.

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