Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

March 19, 2010 at 2:00 am | Posted in Classical Composers, Music Education | Leave a comment
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Mozart has always been one of my favorite classical composers, so when I was asked to create a classical composer unit study he was naturally my first choice. Not only does the unit contain musical content about this brilliant man, but also multi-curricular lesson plans, activities, games, and free lapbook / notebook materials. I submitted it to the “Summer Blast” Contest at Homeschool Share during the summer of 2009 and was very pleased that it won in one of the categories!

Public Domain Photo Thanks to Wikipedia

The Mozart Unit Study contains a reading list for kids, vocabulary, several grammar activities, science (animals), social studies (history and geography), character studies in diligence, stewardship, behavior, and kindness, Bible lesson and verses, music math, classical art, cooking, the historical timeline of Herr Mozart along with a study of his works, the classical music period characteristics, music theory, a Mozart file folder game, and links for further study and games. Additional materials and ideas may be found at my music education blog, Joyful Songs.

Just wanna brush up on your Mozart knowledge? Here’s a timeline of Mozart’s Life for you!

1719 ~ Father Leopold born in Augsburg November 14

1737 ~ Leopold attended the University of Salzburg,

1738 ~ Leopold expelled from the University, Entered the services of Count Johann of Thurn-Valsassina und Taxis, Joined Prince-Archbishop’s orchestra as a chamber musician, Court Composer and vice-Kapellmeister

1747 ~ Leopold and Anna Maria Pertl married on November 21

1751 ~ Sister Maria Anna Mozart “Nannerl” born on July 30

1756 ~ Wolfgang born on January 27

1759 ~ Wolfgang started to play claviers (keyboard instruments) by ear at age 3. He started to accompany his sister’s violin music and he joined with his father’s chamber ensemble on violin.

1760 ~ Leopold taught Wolfgang and Maria Anna music instruments and music theory. Wolfgang composed his first pieces of music at age 4. A quote from his father, “This piece was learnt by Wolfgangerl on 24 January 1761, 3 days before his 5th birthday, between 9 and 9:30 in the evening.”

1762 ~ Leopold performed with his children to the Court of the Elector in Munich, and to the Empress Maria Theresa’s Viennese Court at the Schonbrunn Palace. Wolfgang is said to have leapt onto the Empress’s lap and give her a kiss after this performance! It is also about this time that young Wolfgang proposed marriage to Marie Antoinette (see Hapsburg family notes).

1762-1771 ~ The Mozart family traveled around the countries of Europe including France, England, Holland, Germany, Italy, Austria, and others. The family, especially the children suffered numerous illnesses during these tours. Leopold encouraged performances because the children would earn food and money when they performed.

1768 ~ At 12 years old, Mozart was commissioned, or hired to compose, by “imperial command” a full-length opera entitled La finta simplice!

1769-1771 ~ Leopold and Wolfgang toured through Italy bringing much success to his popularity. During this time he: – performed a solo concert before the Pope of Rome; awarded the “Order of the Golden Spur”; was accepted as a composer of the “Accademica Filarmonica” – an honor never before given to someone under the age of 20.

1771-1776 ~ Mozart was commissioned to compose for rich patrons and monarchs in Vienna and Munich.

1777-1778 ~ Toured France with his mother, Anna Maria whom unfortunately died in Paris. He returned home heartbroken.

1779 ~ Earned the musical positions of Konzertmeister (concertmaster and organist) to the Court and Cathedral of Salzburg. He also wrote many compositions during the next several years.

1781 ~ Wolfgang became an employee of the Archbishop of Salzburg who showed him off to aristocracy like a ‘possession’, but treated him poorly as a lowly servant. He befriended composer Franz Joseph Haydn. They were mutually influential over one another. The older composer spoke of Mozart as having “the most consummate knowledge of the art of composition”.

1782 ~ Wolfgang and Constanze Weber were married.

1783 ~ Wolfgang’s first child was born.

1785 ~ Wolfgang’s last meeting with his father, Leopold, after disagreements came to a peak.

1786 ~ A libretto (story line of an opera) written by Lorenzo da Ponte became of interest to Mozart. From this he composed Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), which became an instant hit in Vienna and one of his best-known operas.

1787 ~ Mozart had another great success with another opera collaboration with da Ponte called Don Giovanni. He was appointed as Kammercompositor of the Emperor’s Court of Joseph II. It was an honorary appointment, but very low on income making the Mozart families still struggle financially. He had a stream of musical successes for a while until the death of Joseph II.

1790 ~ Leopold II, who cared little for music, became the Emperor extinguishing Mozart’s position. Mozart did a small tour of Germany and performed in front of other members of the Habsburg royal family.

1791 ~ He composed one of his most momentous operas, Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute). As his health had been declining for years, he struggled to write his last piece, Requiem, which was commissioned by an unknown patron. A friend finished the piece after Mozart’s death on December 5. Mozart’s funeral took place at St. Stephen’s Cathedral. He was buried in an unmarked tomb.

My hope is that teachers and parents will find this to be a fun, easy-to-use, and informative lessons about Herr Mozart and classical music! ~ Mozart Unit Study

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