Franz Schubert Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson, we immerse our students in the music and life of Franz Schubert through reading an informational text on his life before delving deeper and analyzing a piece of Schubert music with a partner.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain Franz Schubert's importance to music
  • Recognize and describe some basic features of Schubert's music


1 hour


  • Franz Schubert CDs


  • internet access to play music (over YouTube or another site)

Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary terms:

  • Franz Schubert
  • lieder
  • lied

Curriculum Standards


Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.


Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


  • Locate some copies of Schubert music, either compact discs (if you have a CD player in your classroom) or via the internet. Turn some of his music on in the background as students enter the classroom. Try to make sure it's something recognizable and something they may have heard before but not known that it was Schubert's (e.g., Ave Maria, 'Death and the Maiden')
  • Turn off (or turn down to a whisper_ the music. Have students read the lesson Franz Schubert: Biography, Music & Facts
  • Instruct your students to stop reading when they reach the 'Illness & Lifestyle' heading.
  • When all students have completed reading, play one or two 'lieder' tracks. Some discussion questions to ask after playing include:
    • Which part of the song/story is being played by the piano? Which by the accompaniment?
    • How does the song make you feel?
  • Have students read the rest of the lesson.
  • Have students take the quiz

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