Hey Kids, Meet Franz Joseph Haydn | Composer Biography

from the Hey Kid's Meet the Composer Index

Hey Kids, Meet Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Austrian Classical Era Composer

Franz Joseph Haydn was born in the Austrian village of Rohrau. His childhood was an extremely musical one, singing together frequently as a family and with neighbors. At a very early age his parents, Mathias and Maria, recognized their son's musical talent and accepted an offer to allow schoolmaster and choirmaster, Johann Matthias Franck, to train young Franz as a musician.

In his teens, Franz left the choir to begin working as a freelance musician and composing when he had time. His big break came when he was asked to be the court conductor for Prince Esterhazy, a wealthy Hungarian with an orchestra of his own. Haydn worked for the Prince for 30 years composing many symphonies and other works.

When the prince died, Haydn decided to travel to London. When he arrived, he discovered that he was a famous composer with many of his compositions being performed and sold as sheet music for many years.

Perhaps more than any other music composer, Haydn is known for his wit. The most popular example of this is found in his Surprise Symphony when his light, simple melody is suddenly interrupted by a loud chord, "surprising" the audience.

In May 31, 1809, Haydn died a happy man and a beloved composer. Considered to be one of the greatest composers of the classical era, he is referred to as the "Father of the String Quartet" and the "Father of the Symphony".

Watch a Video

Watch a performance of Haydn's Surprise Symphony, 2nd Movement (Symphony No. 94 in G Major).

Print Related Resources for Franz Joseph Haydn

Beginner and Easy Piano Sheet Music

"Surprise" Symphony | Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 2
Minuet | Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 3

Hey Kids, Meet the Composer Worksheets and Games (Famous Composers)

Surprise Symphony | Listening Map and Music Lesson Plan
Franz Joseph Haydn | Word Search Worksheet
Franz Joseph Haydn | Coloring Page
Meet the Composer Job Application | Worksheet
Beethoven at Bat™ | Music Composer Board Game (Digital Print)

Famous Composer Bulletin Board Posters

Haydn | Composer of the Month Bulletin Board Posters

Famous Composer Music Lesson Plans

Haydn | Lesson Plan and Bulletin Board Bundle
Surprise Symphony | Listening/Activity Lesson Plan | Grade 2-4
Franz Joseph Haydn | Homeschool Music Lesson Plans

Kids Songs for Franz Joseph Haydn

Great Composer Farm | Easy Piano Sheet Music
Great Composer Farm | Lead Sheet
Great Composer Farm | Kids Song Lyrics