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Franz Joseph Haydn | Homeschool Music Lesson Plans

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. Read more...

Create a Writing Assignment

Write a few paragraphs about Franz Joseph Haydn that includes facts about his life, music and culture. Then allow your child to be creative in their response to the YouTube videos. The following questions will help to guide their critique.

1) Haydn is known for his sense of humor, and the "Surprise" Symphony includes the funniest joke of all. See if you can identify the "Surprise" by listening to a performance of the second movement of this work.

Haydn Symphony No. 94 in G Major, 2nd Movement (Surprise)

The "Surprise" is a unexpected loud chord in the theme of second movement after a very quiet opening. Haydn thought it would be funny to put the audience to sleep, only to startle them with a "surprising" sound.

2) Compare Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony 2nd Movement to Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No.2. Which musical score is more complex? Why?

Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major

The music of the Classical Era (1750-1820) is characterized by simple, clearly defined melodies with accompaniment, whereas the earlier Baroque Era (1600-1750) is characterized by a complex weaving of melodic lines and elaborate ornamentation.

Print a Worksheet

Learn about Franz Joseph Haydn with a printable worksheet.

Meet the Composer Job Application Worksheet
Franz Joseph Haydn Word Search

Print a Listening Map

Want to kick the fun into high gear? Get the lesson plan and printable listening map for "Surprise Symphony".

"Surprise" Symphony Listening Map
"Surprise" Symphony Lesson Plan

Play Haydn's Music

Appreciating the talent of a great composer is never richer than when you're playing their music. Ask your child's music teacher about including the study of Haydn's Surprise Symphony in their music lesson.

Surprise Symphony for Easy/Level 2 Piano Solo

Download a New Ringtone

Download Franz Joseph Haydn's Surprise Symphony as your cell phone's new ringtone. Ask your kids who the composer is, or facts about the composer, when the phone rings. You may find yourself asking, "Is that my phone" often because you don't remember the ringtone, but your kids will be enriched.