Beethoven Composer Study

by Jimmie Lanley on March 25, 2010

beethoven composer study

Our latest composer is Beethoven. Sprite deems him a likable child prodigy (different from Mozart). In the past, I’d always read these Opal Wheeler biographies aloud. But they really are easy reads for a fifth grader. So I turned the book over to her this time. (Even though I sort of missed reading it together.)

beethoven notebookingShe chose some of the illustrations to print from the accompanying  CD. And using those drawings plus the composer pages from Notebooking Pages, she created several pages of written and illustrated narration.

Of course, we are periodically listening to some Beethoven CDs to surround ourselves with his music. (You can’t have composer study without the music!)

What made me happiest was that she kept going to the copier/printer and making copies of Beethoven’s music. She said she wanted to try to play the pieces!

At her last piano lesson, she took some of the pieces (and the hymn we are studying) and asked her teacher for help. (I can’t play any instruments or read music, and so I’m absolutely no help at all.) I was so pleased that the teacher was receptive to this kind of request and welcomed Sprite to bring in music she finds interesting.

beethoven musicOne piece she liked was called Anger Over a Lost Penny. Isn’t that hilarious? I guess if I wrote music I could name pieces things like

Frustration Over so Many Burned Out Light Bulbs (We’re in one of those phases.)

Forgetting to Defrost the Meat


Let’s Just Spend All Day at the River.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

kristi March 25, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Thats so cool!


silvia March 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

very neat, Miss Sprite, and LOL your pieces titles
.-= silvia´s last blog ..Book findings and friends generosity =-.


Stefanie March 25, 2010 at 10:34 pm

I might write write a song about that too. In our current house, I’ve changed more light bulbs then all the rest put together. And we’ve only lived her a couple of years.

I’d never thought of a composer study. We’re doing Story of the Orchestra this year but we have nothing planned for music apprecition for next year. I’ll have to think on it. That sounds pretty easy to implement a few times a year. Great idea!
.-= Stefanie´s last blog ..Win Pom-Pom magnets =-.


keri March 26, 2010 at 5:21 am

I like Sprite’s gumption!
Your music titles bring a smile to my face…funny!
.-= keri´s last blog ..Juggling… =-.


Krista March 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Just to balance “Forgetting to Defrost the Meat,” “Ode to the Chest Freezer.” Too funny …. Our oldest is just at the age where I can give her books for music or art to read independently too- bittersweet. I felt like part of MY education stopped 😉


Dawn March 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm

We are really enjoying the Wheeler books. We are doing Beethoven next too. However, we are taking a break on music for awhile. We are just keeping up with listening to Hayden and piano lessons. Thanks so much for pointing me in the direction of these books. We love them.


Cori March 27, 2010 at 12:55 am

I love seeing what a child older than mine can do with all these great materials. Sprite is delightful. And you and I could be good friends with our similar sense of humor. hehe I’m finding so many cool homeschooling Mama’s thru blogging who also live so far away! Ah, well there is always the internet. ~Cori
.-= Cori´s last blog ..Tea Parties with Boys =-.


Marsha March 27, 2010 at 1:58 am

I am so glad you posted about this! I had looked into these books before but couldn’t find time for them. I am all for them learning some things independently. 🙂 We’ll listen and discuss together, of course.


Kate March 27, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I think my kids would LOVE to hang out with Sprite. She does so many interesting things (her Mom is pretty neat, too!) Our family enjoys piano and classical music. My oldest had 5 years of formal training and he’s now teaching my 12 year old (free lessons!) I love how Sprite wants to play Beethoven – good for her! I also wanted to comment on how beautiful the watercolor paintings were. Those classes sound so great! And the results are amazing!
– Have a great weekend! – Kate


amy in peru March 28, 2010 at 5:14 am

🙂 love this… composer study is SO enriching. I love that she is taking ownership. absolutely awesome 🙂

amy in peru
.-= amy in peru´s last blog ..Getting ready for Easter… =-.


Sparklee March 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm

We have not done composer studies, but I’m hoping to add them for next year. How wonderful that your daughter was inspired to play the pieces herself!

My song for today would be: Should Have Gone to Bed Earlier Last Night.
.-= Sparklee´s last blog ..Miniscule =-.


{ jamie } April 1, 2010 at 9:24 am

Once again, something I’ve been lacking in. But I love how you’re doing it here. I’ll have to bookmark this to come back to it. 🙂
.-= { jamie }´s last blog ..Daughters =-.


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