Sprite doesn’t like Mozart anymore. She always liked his music before we read his biography. But now she doesn’t like him at all. And it’s all because he’s a child prodigy. He’s too perfect. She says she doesn’t like perfect people.
Although I’m a huge fan of the Opal Wheeler composer biographies, I do have to agree with Sprite that the Mozart one is a tad, well, boring. His childhood was so perfect and so charmed that it makes for a lifeless story. Compared to Haydn who worked his way up from poverty to fame, Mozart’s life is just dull. Traveling from one palace to the next, effortlessly churning out composition after composition… sigh. There was no conflict whatsoever to make the story suspenseful.
Sprite seemed to resent the fact that Mozart could crank out musical pieces at ages much younger than her own 10 years. During our study of Mozart I learned that her piano teacher uses Mozart to taunt the students when they haven’t practiced. He says something like, “You can’t play this? How old are you? Mozart was writing music more complicated than this when he was five!” [Thanks, Mr. Piano teacher, for ruining our composer study with a resentment towards Mozart.]
I assume that as she matures, she’ll come around to liking Mozart again. I personally love his music!
We used an assortment of resources — 2 discs I bought locally as well as a disc I brought from America (bought at at thrift store). I got free notebooking pages to record facts about Mozart’s life and music. You can get all the details at Mozart Composer Study.
We will be using this same progam in a few weeks. It looks wonderful. I totally get Sprites feelings about perfect people though. I bet he wasn’t perfect in some way.
Ruby in Montreal says
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We are Mozart fans here, and even though he was indeed a prodigy and amazing, and clearly in a league of his own, somehow that’s increased the charm for my children. Perhaps because we love a bit of a fairy tale, and love to see God’s hand, or perhaps because our piano teacher has never compared? I’m not sure why.
I can see Sprite’s view now I think about it, but somehow it is nice to know that in this fallen world, sometimes there is an amazing stroke of grace, and Mozart seems to have been painted with a glittering stroke.
I also think we like him better because he is histoory. Honestly, if he lived today, I’d probably feel just like sprite, if I were to watch him on youtube… So hers is, perhaps the most honest reaction.
.-= Dell´s last blog ..Poor, Poor Clifford =-.
Actually, I would have HATED to be Mozart. What do you think it was like, at such a young age, to be forced by an overbearing parent to practice and to write and to always be perfect? I don’t think it was effortless for him. He was a genius, yeah, but what happened to his childhood? Do you think he ever got to cuddle with his Mum and read books? I always feel so sorry for Mozart.
Maybe that’s a POV that will resonate with Sprite? There’s quite a bit of conflict in that poor guy’s life.
.-= Keeley´s last blog ..Running Euphoria =-.
Considering the way his adult life turned out, it makes me grateful that my children/household are not perfect! ;o)
I hate to admit this, but I don’t like Mozart’s music. I didn’t really pay attention to his music until I was in a youth orchestra and we played several of his pieces. I thought they were quite dull and not nearly as exciting as Dvorak, Copeland or Mussorgsky.
I don’t know if that makes me a bad musician or what!
.-= Marsha´s last blog ..Field Trip: Pick Your Own =-.
I love Mozart, but that’s rather sad about the piano teacher causing her to resent him.
We just say that Mozart had the opposite life of Haydn. He started out privileged…but ended up poor and with a ‘broken spirit.’
.-= Michelle´s last blog ..It’s been a long week =-.
I don’t think Mozart was perfect. Although his music was darn near perfect, his personal life surely was not. And he died young. Maybe the Opal Wheeler bio (I haven’t read it), is a sanitized version for young people, rather than an accurate portrait of the man, or of the child prodigy.