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Hey Kids, Meet Ludwig van Beethoven | Composer Biography

from the Hey Kid's Meet the Composer Index





Hey Kids, Meet Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (Baptized Dec 16, 1770-1827) German Classical/Romantic Era Composer

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770, to Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich. Although Beethoven's exact birth date is not known, his family celebrated it on December 16. Ludwig's first musical instruction came from his father Johann who was said to have been a harsh instructor. Johann later asked his friend, Tobias Pfeiffer, to teach his son. It seems that the harsh treatment continued, as Johann and his friend would come home late on occasion to pull young Ludwig from his bed to practice until morning.

Ludwig's talent was recognized early on, and by 1778 he was learning to play the organ and viola in addition to his piano studies. His most important teacher in Bonn was Christian Gottlob Neefe, a Court organist. It was Neefe who helped Beethoven publish his first piece of music.

In 1787, young Beethoven decided to travel to Vienna, hoping to meet and study composition with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is not clear if he succeeded in meeting or studying with Mozart. By his twenties, Beethoven began to suffer from hearing loss. He did, however, continue to compose, conduct and perform, even after he was completely deaf. One story recalls that after conducting the premiere of his Ninth Symphony he had to be turned around to see the overwhelming applause of the audience. When he heard nothing, he began to weep.

Ludwig van Beethoven's most popular pieces are his Fifth Symphony, Für Elise for piano solo, and his Ninth Symphony, which includes the melody Ode to Joy. He is remembered as an important composer in the transitional period between the Classical Era and Romantic Era in music and continues to be one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.


Watch a Video

Watch a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 for orchestra.



Print Related Resources for Ludwig van Beethoven

Piano Books for Kids

Beethoven | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 1
A Charlie Brown Christmas for Easy Piano

Beginner and Easy Piano Sheet Music

Beethoven | Meet the Composer Series Piano Book, Vol. 1
Moonlight Sonata Beginner-Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 2
Beethoven's Fifth Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 2
Ode to Joy Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 2
Ode to Joy for Easy Piano - Play and Learn™ Series
Für Elise Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 3
Russian Folk Song, Op. 107, No. 3 Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 3
Russian Folk Song, Op. 107, No. 7 Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 3
Ode to Joy Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 4
Ode to Joy for Easy/Intermediate Piano - Play and Learn™ Series
Minuet in G Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 4
Symphony No. 5 in C Minor (1st Mvt.) Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 5
Moonlight Sonata Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 5
Moonlight Sonata for Easy Piano by Beethoven - Play and Learn™
Ecossaise Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 5
Pathetique Sonata Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 5
Rage Over a Lost Penny Easy Piano Sheet Music/Level 5


Beginner and Easy Guitar Sheet Music

Beethoven's Fifth Easy Guitar Sheet Music (Tab)
Moonlight Sonata Easy Guitar Sheet Music (Tab)


Beginner and Easy Band/Orchestra Instrument Sheet Music

Für Elise Easy Flute Sheet Music
Ode to Joy Beginner Flute Sheet Music
Für Elise Easy Clarinet Sheet Music
Ode to Joy Beginner Clarinet Sheet Music
Ode to Joy Beginner Trumpet Sheet Music
Ode to Joy Beginner Trombone Sheet Music
Ode to Joy Beginner Violin Sheet Music
Ode to Joy Beginner Viola Sheet Music
Ode to Joy Beginner Cello Sheet Music


Hey Kids, Meet the Composer Worksheets (Famous Composers)

Beethoven Word Search Worksheet
Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet
Beethoven Multiplication-Connect-the-Dot Worksheet
Beethoven Coloring Page Worksheet

Bulletin Board Posters for Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven | Composer of the Month Bulletin Board Pack

Homeschool Music Lesson Plans for Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven | Famous Composer Homeschool Music Lesson Plans