Week 11: Beethoven


Read K – 5:  Beethoven Lives Upstairs by Barbara Nichol

6 – 8:   View this Beethoven biography on youtube:



  • Why was Beethoven famous? (wrote beautiful music)
  • What handicap did he have? (He was deaf; his eyes were weak also)
  • In what ways was Beethoven strange? (very loud, messy, stood in front of a window naked, poured water over his head, wrote on walls)
  • Why was Beethoven an unhappy child? ( Father was often drunk, would make him practice piano all night)
  • T/F Beethoven had a bad temper.  (T)
  • Why was he so angry? (he loved music, but couldn’t hear it, he was lonely, bad family life as a boy)
  • How many pianos did Beethoven have? (at least 4)
  • Why were his pianos on the floor? (so he could feel vibrations)
  • Name a famous symphony Beethoven wrote? (Ninth symphony)
  • How did people communicate with Beethoven? (by writing questions in a little book)
  • At the end of Beethoven’s 9th symphony debut, did he know the people loved it? (not right away, his back was turned to the audience – he couldn’t see or hear the applause.)

Questions for Grades 5 – 8:

  • T/F Beethoven’s father was also an excellent musician.  (F)
  • How did Beethoven’s father punish him if he felt he didn’t play well? (beat him, locked him in the basement)
  • At what age did Beethoven quit school? (10)
  • Beethoven didn’t just want his music to entertain but to transform people.  (T)
  • What did Mozart think of Beethoven’s music?  (amazed by it)
  • How did Beethoven’s mother die? (Tuberculosis)
  • T/F Professional musicians often found Beethoven’s music too difficult to play.  (T)
  • What famous composer became Beethoven’s tutor? (Haydn)
  • T/F Beethoven did not become famous until he was in his 30’s (F)
  • What contests did Beethoven begin? (Improvisation contests on piano)
  • Who won? (Beethoven)
  • Why did Beethoven write the “Moonlight Sonata”? ( to woo a pupil he was in love with.)
  • When did Beethoven begin losing his hearing? (late 20’s)
  • After Beethoven lost his hearing was he still able to compose great works? (Yes)
  • At first Beethoven considered Napoleon a great hero and even dedicated one of his pieces to him.  What made him change his mind? (Napoleon declared himself emperor of France)
  • Name some of Beethoven’s most famous works? (Moonlight sonata, pastoral symphony, 5th symphony, 9th symphony)
  • Why did Beethoven have to quit playing the piano and devote himself full-time to composing? (He couldn’t hear himself play anymore)
  • What child did Beethoven win custody of? (his brother’s; after his brother passed away)
  • Did the boy want to live with Beethoven or his mother? (his mother)
  • How did Beethoven often dress? (like a hobo, wore same clothes for several weeks, didn’t bathe, hair was wild, etc)
  • How many people came to Beethoven’s funeral? (20,000)


K – 1: Listen to the Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies  as you do this Beethoven coloring page:

2 – 3:  Listen to the Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies as you do this Beethoven word find:

4 – 5:  Listen to the Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies as you write an essay describing Beethoven’s strengths and weaknesses.

6 – 8:  Listen to the Beethoven’s 5th and 9th symphonies as you write an essay on one of the following:

  1. Compare and contrast Beethoven & Mozart.
  2. Describe the role Beethoven’s father played in his life. Do you believe his father contributed to his son’s genius, inhibited it, or both?
  3. Write an essay describing Beethoven’s strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Many people would describe Beethoven’s music as passionate and intense. Write a 5 paragraph 3 proof essay describing how Beethoven’s personal life was passionate and/or intense.


Copyright November 19th, 2016 by Gwen Fredette



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Filed under Charlotte Mason, The Enlightenment & Scientific Revolution

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