Composer #2: Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 - 1751)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musical genius and one of the greatest composers to have ever lived. He was a child prodigy; he wrote his first symphonies and operas at a very young age. Today we'll be learning about the life and music of Mozart.

Child Prodigy

Do you have a friend who is really good at something? Maybe they're a really good basketball player. Maybe they're a talented artist. Maybe they're able to solve complicated math problems. But are they so skilled that they're better than professional basketball players, painters, and mathematicians? Very rarely, a child comes along that can do just that. When a young person is so good at something that they're better than most adults, they are called a child prodigy.

Here is a short clip from the movie Amadeus, which is about the life of Mozart. In this scene, another composer talks about Mozart performing for kings and royalty while children his age are playing games.

Take a look at this video of a five-year-old boy who can play the piano at a very advanced level.

How does a child this young get so good at an early age?


The Story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Listen to the narration of Mozart's story. As you listen, try to answer the questions on the form below. Look at the questions before we begin:

  • What did Mozart do when he was three years old?
  • What does "improvising" mean?
  • How old was Mozart when he composed his first song, had his music published, and wrote his first opera?
  • What instruments did Mozart's friends play?
  • What city did Mozart move to?
  • What problems did Mozart have as an adult?
  • How old was Mozart when he died?

Mozart's childhood home in Saltzburg

Click the play button below to listen to Mozart's story. Click the form on the right and answer the questions.

Story of Mozart Lesson

Classical Music

Mozart wrote music during the classical period of music. Music at this time was meant to be simpler than the music period that came before it. Where Bach's music was very complicated and impressive, Mozart's music is simple and refreshing.

Most music in the classical period has "question" and "answer" phrases. Listen to Mozart's Turkish March and see how after every "question" phrase, a similar "answer" always follows.

Mozart Turkish March visualization.mp4

Mozart's Turkish March

How many "questions" and "answers" can you count? (Each set of question and answer counts as one)