Beethoven Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Anna Reinking

Anni taught elementary school for eight years and is currently teaching college. She received her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.

The deaf German composer, Ludwig van Beethoven was very influential to the music field. He lived in the last 1700's and early 1800's, but his music is still played and heard today around the world. In this lesson you will learn about Beethoven and his life.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven is generally considered one of the greatest composers, or creators of music, of all time. He became deaf as an adult but still made music that can be heard around the world today. His music helped transition between the Classic and Romantic ages of Western music.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Early Life in Music

On December 16, 1770, Beethoven was born in a part of Germany that, at the time, was part of the Roman Empire. Growing up, Beethoven was around music. Beethoven's father, Johann, was a singer and his grandfather was a well-known musician. At a young age, Beethoven's father began teaching Beethoven music. However, Beethoven did not enjoy these music lessons from his father because his father was not very nice during the lessons if Beethoven made a mistake. Regardless, Beethoven was learning how to play the organ, violin, and clavier, or a keyboard instrument with strings. When it came to music, he was a prodigy, or someone who is very young with extreme talent. His father knew this and wanted Beethoven to practice under another famous musician at the time: Mozart. In order to get Mozart to notice his son, Johann organized Beethoven's first concert at the age of 7. However, no one noticed his great ability at that recital.


After the recital, Beethoven attended school and excelled in music, but had a hard time with other subjects. Beethoven loved music so much that only a few years later, at the age of 10, he dropped out of school and started to study music full time. At this music school, Beethoven met another famous musician: Bach. With the help of his teachers and mentors, Beethoven published his first composition, or piece of music.

In 1790, after the Holy Roman Emperor died, Beethoven composed a musical piece for the memorial. At this time Beethoven was only 19 years old and found this to be a great honor. However, the piece Beethoven composed was never played at the memorial, but is seen today as his first masterpiece. It is entitled, 'Cantata on the Death of Emperor Joseph II.'

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