Owlet Discovers Beethoven


Owlet started learning about Beethoven in music class at school just before March break. She ran to meet me at the school gate and this is the conversation we had:

OWLET: Mummy, do you know Beethoven?
ME: Not personally, but I know his music.
OWLET: Why not?
ME: Well, honey, he’s dead.
OWLET: WHAT. He can’t write any more music!?
ME: Trust me, we have LOTS of his music to listen to.

At home she shared the Beethoven’s Wig video with us, which led us to discover Beep Beep Beep and My Little Chicken. (Click on those links at your own risk; they are earworms. Hilarious and brilliantly done, but earworms.)

Her list of facts that she likes to share:
-Beethoven is famous because people like his music.
-His father taught him music.
-He was grumpy because he couldn’t hear his music very well.
-He was very messy.

I showed her the Beethoven Google Doodle game, and found the first track from Beethoven Lives Upstairs online for her to listen to, then we borrowed the whole CD from the library.

So next it was, “Mummy, can we listen to the Beethoven’s Wig music in the car?” Of course, my child. I own three different recordings of Beethoven’s fifth symphony that I know of. And this is a synthesis of the conversations we have about it, because now we listen to it daily with occasional breaks for Hamilton or Moana:

OWLET: Mummy, it started again!
ME: No, this is the repeat. In this kind of music, like I play at orchestra, the first part is usually repeated before playing the next section.
OWLET: Mummy, this part sounds like Beethoven’s Wig, but it’s different. Did Beethoven write this part, too?
ME: Yes, he did. It’s called the development section, which makes variations and new music based on the themes introduced in the first part.
OWLET: Beethoven wrote a lot! (And this is only the first movement of a Beethoven symphony she’s heard.) And he’s very good! I like this part!

Then this morning:

OWLET: Mummy, are there any pictures of Beethoven?
ME: Not photos, because there weren’t any cameras when he was alive, but there are paintings.
OWLET: Can I have one in my room? One of his head? And then another one of him writing his music. In a frame? Like a real painting?

Yes, my child. You may have a framed portrait of Beethoven, your first musical crush.

2 thoughts on “Owlet Discovers Beethoven

  1. Nana

    Oh the wonderful moment when we really start to understand music. Who doesn’t like Mr B.? I do need to see his picture in the frames. Too cute.

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