Time Allotment: two class periods
1. Although Beethoven is a famous composer, the students may not be familiar with the piano sonatas featured in the program. To spark their interest in the composer's music, play them examples of his well-known pieces -- "Fur Elise," "Ode to Joy," or the first movement from the "Fifth Symphony" -- which have been widely used in film, television, and other media.
(Note to teachers: Don't indicate who the composer is before or while the students are completing this listening activity.)
Audio files of these works can be found on a number of sites, including Classical Music Archives at http://www.classicalarchives.com/midi/b.html#BEETHOVEN. After the students listen to these selections, ask and discuss questions such as:
2. Ask the students to brainstorm what they already know about Ludwig van Beethoven and record the information on the board or overhead. To help them gain a better understanding of Beethoven and his works, print and share copies of the biography available at http://www.pbs.org/gperf/education/beethoven.html. As the students read, have them note at least three things they have learned about Beethoven that they did not previously know. Discuss the biography by asking the students to share what they've learned and elaborating on this information.
- Do you know who wrote this music? [Answer: Ludwig van Beethoven]
- Where have you heard or would you expect to hear this music? [Possible answer: concert]
- What type of music is this? [Answer: classical]
- Why do you think this music has remained popular for so long? Will it continue to be used? [Answers will vary]
3. Explain to the students that this lesson will require that they understand some key music terms and that their ideas about music will also be important. Distribute the Music Terminology Worksheet and have them work in pairs or small groups to answer the questions. When all the groups have completed the activity, discuss each question. Have the students keep these worksheets for later reference.
(Note to teachers: Print out the Music Terminology Key for Teachers and use it during the class discussion for this activity.)
Time Allotment: two class periods
1. Use the biography available at http://www.danielbarenboim.com/biography.htm to help the students become familiar with pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim. Explain to them that Barenboim not only conducts and performs music but also instructs master pupils in musical performance.
2. Introduce BARENBOIM ON BEETHOVEN by explaining to the students that they will be viewing a program that features Daniel Barenboim's performance of five of Beethoven's piano sonatas; interviews with him about Beethoven's work; and his interpretation of some of the sonatas as he interacts with several master pupils. Distribute the Viewing Guide and review the directions and questions with the students before you watch the program as a group.
3. Watch the following segments of BARENBOIM ON BEETHOVEN:
In addition, have the students watch at least one sonata in its entirety. Tell them that as they watch and listen, they should record their ideas about the music in the Viewing Guide. Time cues for the various sonatas are as follows:
- beginning of program to approximately 3:15 (Barenboim's views on Beethoven's music)
- approximately 50:40 to 51:30 (more of Barenboim's ideas on music)
- approximately 1:33:10 to end of program (Barenboim's master classes and closing thoughts on music)
4. After viewing and listening to the sonata and completing the Viewing Guide, discuss all of the questions in the guide as a class. When you get to Question 5, write the following categories on the board or overhead:
- "Sonata No. 5": approximately 3:37 to 22:29
- "Sonata No. 11": approximately 23:15 to 50:15
- "Sonata No. 19": approximately 51:50 to 59:37
- "Sonata No. 20": approximately 59:41 to 67:54
- "Sonata No. 23": approximately 1:08:30 to 1:01:45
Using their answers to Question 5, generate a list of ideas about the emotion/mood, theme, story line, and characters envisioned by the students as they listened to the sonata. Post these in a prominent place so that they can see it and refer to it. Be sure to ask them to explain in detail what about the music made them think of the specific idea they came up with for each category.
- story line
Time Allotment: two class periods
1. Refer to Question 3 on the Music Terminology Worksheet. Explain to the students that they have had a chance to hear one of Beethoven's great sonatas, and as a class they have brainstormed the key components of a story -- theme, characters, and story line. In addition, they have created a list of ideas that summarize the emotion or mood of the story. Using this information, have the students work in pairs or small groups to create a story and illustrations to accompany the musical selection they've heard. Encourage them to use a simple format for creating the story, such as a children's book or a short story. They should include:
2. When all the pairs/groups have created their displays, each should take a turn reading their story aloud while using the sonata as background music. The students can evaluate one another's stories by providing feedback on simple questions such as:
- a story line that is inspired and enhanced by the sonata they heard
- a theme that is consistent with the theme of the sonata
- character(s) that might be represented by the sonata
- a story whose emotion/mood mirrors that of the sonata
- drawings/illustrations that can be used with the story and bring the music to life visually
3. As a class, review the quotes by Daniel Barenboim included in the Viewing Guide. Facilitate a final discussion to summarize what has been learned by asking questions such as the following:
- In what ways did the story mimic the musical selection in terms of mood/emotion and theme?
- In what ways were the story line and characters similar to the music?
- How did the drawings reflect the qualities and characteristics of the sonata and the story?
- Overall, how effective was the story in illustrating the musical selection? Why?
- What suggestions do you have for improving the story so that it more closely matches the characteristics of the musical selection?
- What qualities make a piece of music timeless?
- In what ways does music help people establish a universal connection to one another?
- Give an example of a song or piece of music that you never tire of hearing. What draws you to this piece? Do you hear it the same way each time, or do you find something new in it every time you listen to it? Explain.
Listen to several of the featured Beethoven sonatas and compare and contrast at least two of them, preferably from different periods in Beethoven's career. Create a graphic organizer such as a Venn diagram to illustrate the similarities and differences in the pieces.