Santa Fe Pro Musica
BEETHOVEN: The greatest musical revolutionary!
Friday, April 28, 2017 at 10am
The Lensic Performing Arts Center
Contact Janet Gilchrist to make reservations
Here you will find useful information, activities and games that can be helpful in preparing your students for the music they will hear on the Santa Fe Pro Musica Youth Concert [Friday, April 28, 2017 at 10am in the Lensic Performing Arts Centre]. Please use these resources as best fits your needs.
Teaching Objective: Students will improve their listening skills
1. Ask students to be very quiet and write down or remember everything they hear during a two to five-minute period.
2. At the end of the time ask each student how many things they heard. Encourage the lists to be as long as possible, including everything from sounds made by other students to air-conditioning noise. In a few days, play the game a second time and compare how listening skills have improved.
3. With no other activities going on, have students listen to:
- Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 4, movement 3 (10:28)
After listening, lead a discussion by asking some general questions. There will be no right or wrong answer to these questions because music is a personal experience.
The idea is that the two players in a concerto (the soloist and the orchestra) alternate periods of opposition, cooperation and independence. So, it is like a musical discussion, conversation, and argument.
Beethoven was born in Germany and lived most of his life in Vienna, Austria. As was typical in 18th century Europe, he was required to attend school only until the age of 11. At this time, the boys left school and were trained for work. Since Beethoven’s father and grandfather were both musicians, that is what Beethoven did – he became a musician. He was good at it too, and was able to spend his life writing music and playing concerts.
Though Beethoven was a genius, he also worked very hard. He woke up at 5am every day and worked on his music until 3pm. Then he would take a hike in the country where he would continue to think about his music, mumbling, humming, singing out loud, and making wild gestures with his arms. The pages of his sketchbooks are filled with hundreds of bits and pieces of melodies. He was always scratching out and correcting. Someone said his music looked like battlefields where thoughts and ideas are crossed out, or others are scribbled in, sometimes erasing to the point of making holes in the paper.
During the 18th century, Beethoven was regarded as Europe’s greatest pianist. He had to have amazingly skillful hands and fingers, but otherwise he was surprisingly clumsy. He often spilled food, broke dishes, and dropped glasses. He was also easily confused. Sometimes he would go to a restaurant and forget to pay; other times he would call for his bill without having ordered anything to eat. And he was restless – during his 35 years in Vienna, he lived in 33 different places.
In 1798, when Beethoven was 28 years old, he started losing his hearing and by 1802 he was deaf. He couldn’t play the piano anymore, but he could still write music as he heard it all in his head. When he died in 1827, thousands of people (the newspaper reported 15,000 to 20,000) attended his funeral as he was mourned as the greatest composer of his age.
Anne-Marie McDermott was born in New York, where she and her sisters were partly home-schooled by their mother, a professional Irish dancer. The young Anne-Marie (Annie) McDermott went to her first piano concert when she was 5-years-old. She loved how the piano was huge, shiny black and powerful. At age 9, she became serious about music (“what I wanted to do was play the piano. I spent all day practicing!”). The family didn’t have much money, so it was up to her to get scholarships to continue her music studies. She also earned money by playing piano accompaniments for just about everyone, her sisters, neighbors, and school friends. Her talents were soon recognized and her piano playing career was launched at the age of 18. She is now considered one of the finest pianists in the world.
For more information visit her website: www.annemariemcdermott.net
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