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Ludwig van Beethoven: Composer Study for Kids

Updated on May 13, 2016

Beethoven Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler

Interested in learning about Ludwig van Beethoven? This guide includes some of the best free and for purchase books, music and worksheets, and ideas for listening.

Composer Biographies

Reading a biography about Beethoven is a great place start. Four biographies are provided below. With the exception of Wikipedia, all biographies are written for kids.

Ludwig van Beethoven - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hey Kids, Meet Ludwig Van Beethoven | Composer Biography - MakingMusicFun.net
Ludwig van Beethoven - DSO Kids
Composer’s Gallery - NYPhil Kids

Beethoven Video

Published in 1992, the best video for introducing Beethoven to kids is Beethoven Lives Upstairs. It provides a great introduction to Beethoven's major works and facts about his life in a creative story. It’s available as a DVD or audio CD.

Beethoven Lives Upstairs DVD

Beethoven Audio

Interested in playing music in the car or while your hanging out around the house? Beethoven’s Wig is a smartly produced collection of CD’s that introduce kids to classical music.

Beethoven's Wig: Sing Along Symphonies CD
This CD includes Beethoven’s Wig (Fifth Symphony) and Just Fur Elise (Fur Elise, Beethoven) and 20 other great composer tracks.

Beethoven Sheet Music

Playing the music of a great composer is the best way to experience the mastery of their skill.

The piano music arrangements are written for students with first year-intermediate level playing skills. The Play and Learn editions include worksheets with the sheet music. The recorder music is perfect for students with no prior musical experience. Just get a recorder and jump in.

Sheet Music for Piano

Beethoven's Fifth for Piano Solo
Ode to Joy for Piano Solo - Play and Learn™
Für Elise for Piano Solo
Moonlight Sonata for Piano Solo - Play and Learn™

Sheet Music for Recorder

Ode to Joy for Recorder

Composer Timelines

History of Music - The Piano Student
This resource provides “nutshell” descriptions of music periods from the Medieval Period (before 1450) through the Modern Era. Highlighted are the composers that influenced each music period and the characteristics of the music that defined that era. It might be a good idea to map the music eras out on paper, making a timeline of your own. Including other facts, like US presidents on the timeline will help kids make connections - things they’re familiar with to things that they’re not.

Meet Beethoven | App for iPad
Meet Beethoven iPad App includes a simple and colorful timeline. On the timeline is George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Philo Farnsworth (the inventor of the TV) along with Beethoven. The dates of the classical and romantic music periods are also included, so kids have the best chance to understand where Beethoven fits in history.

Beethoven Worksheets

Beethoven Word Search
This worksheet is intended to support the Hey Kids, Meet Beethoven biography (link above). Kids will be searching for keywords in the biography - the ones they feel are most important - as the words are not included on the worksheet. Designed to help develop reading skills.

Beethoven Lives Upstairs Follow Along Worksheet
Giving students a study guide worksheet is a great way to help them remain attentive throughout the Beethoven Lives Upstairs movie.

Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet
Get your composer a job with this fun activity worksheet. Kids fill in the blanks for the composer and paste the composers picture at the bottom of the second page.

Beethoven Multiplication-Connect-the-Dot
Kids practice skip counting, and then color the picture.

Ludwig van Beethoven | Composer Coloring Page
Coloring pages are a great resource to have on hand when you want kids to sit and listen to music. Just print the coloring page, grab the crayons, and fire up your CD.

Beethoven/Classical Music Books

Would you like to read more about Beethoven and the music of the classical period?

Here are a few book ideas to start with:

My First Classical Music Book
Beethoven Lives Upstairs
The World's Great Men of Music by Henriette Brower- Beethoven is featured in Chapter 7
Ludwig Van Beethoven: Musical Genius by Brendan January
The Heroic Symphony by Anna Harwell Celenza
The 39 Apartments of Ludwig van Beethoven by Jonah Winter
Beethoven Lives Upstairs by Barbara Nichol
Ludwig Beethoven and the Chiming Tower Bells by Opal Wheeler

Recommended Listening

YouTube, DVD or CD
Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, 1st Movement
Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, 4th Movement
Beethoven's Bagatelle in A Minor (Fur Elise) for Piano Solo
Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata for Piano Solo

Classics for Kids Shows
Ludwig van Beethoven: About Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven: Beethoven the Pianist
Ludwig van Beethoven: Beethoven's Symphonies
Ludwig van Beethoven: Roll Over Beethoven

Favorite Composer

Who is your favorite composer?

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