Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Class: Grade 8                                                 Date: TBD      

Topic: Social Issues                                         Subject: Music (crossed with Phys.Ed.)

Lesson Plan50 Minutes
Content: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is introduced to the students along with one of his famous compositions entitled Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Students listen to and respond to Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by acting out various people and events that took place in Mozart’s life. A movement/ dance activity is then introduced to help the students become comfortable saying Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. This lesson can easily extend over two classes to further supplement student learning.
Outcomes and Indicators:
(Arts Ed) CR8.1 Respond to professional dance, drama, music, and visual art works through the creation of own arts expressions. b. Analyze and discuss how dance, drama, music, visual and interdisciplinary arts are expressions of individual or collective perspectives d. Create own work (e.g., visual or performing arts) in response to a professional arts expression, and describe how own work is inspired or influenced by the original work.

(Physical Ed) 8.7 Decision Making Analyze the situational decisions, of self and others, while under the pressure of game play in target games, net/wall games, striking/fielding games, invasion/territorial games, and low-organizational, inventive, and cooperative games to determine the effectiveness of the decisions and to propose options for improvement. d. Express insights into personal tactical and strategic choices used in game situations to judge the effectiveness of the choices and to propose options to enhance future choices. e. Express insights in response to questions such as “Can a criticism ever be a positive thing?” and “What does ‘good enough’ mean when it comes to participation in movement games?”
Assessment: Students write down two things they liked/ noticed about the YouTube video presented to them at the beginning of class. Do no hand in yet because at the end of class the students add to their comments but this time responding to the question: How are arts expressions of individual or collective perspectives?
Prerequisite Learning: None
Lesson Preparation Equipment/Materials Advanced Preparation
Set: (5 min) What stands out to you when you watch (only play 2 minutes; it’s 24 minutes long) this? What do you like/ dislike? Mozart composed this serenade for string instruments. But who is Mozart? Let’s discover more about him!

Development: (40 min) (20 min each activity) Divide class in half. Distribute prepared play outline (I sketched out, attached). Groups decide how to present this play, utilizing each group member. Even though there are only 7 speaking parts all group members can participate. Finish up with a discussion on how their own work is inspired or influenced by the original work, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart that we heard at the beginning of class. Teacher may choose to replay this piece.   Keep students in their same groups but present to the whole class how to pronounce Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, which translates to A Little Night Music. (“Ine A Kline A Nacht Music”). Introduce the activity “Pass the Beat Around the Room” but using the words Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The students stand in a circle in their groups. One student begins by stating ONE syllable only (“INE”) followed by the student to their right that states the next syllable (“A”), and so on. Finish with a rest. This will take a lot of practice. Keep the 8 syllables (7+ a rest) going around the circle. Many extensions can be added as the students are ready, see below.  

Closure: (5 min) Have students return to their original paper they wrote on when they responded to hearing Eine Kleine Nachtmusik at the beginning of class. The students add to this now by responding to this proposed question: How are arts (we explored music, drama, & possibly a little bit of dance in this lesson) expressions of individual or collective perspectives?
Classroom Management Strategies   Encourage students to write down their responses.   Students may not know what serenade means: a piece of music sung or played in the open air, typically by a man at night under the window of his lover. For fair group division: number students off: 1-2. Not necessary the play be performed in front of all class members. At the end take time to discuss student insights into personal tactical and strategic choices used while developing and forming the play. Were the choices effective? What could you do to improve your performance? This game is traditionally played where when a student messes up, they are out. Please do not play it this way- do not exclude a student. Carry on with the activity after a mistake without a student going “out”. The point is not to find a winner but to gain understanding of Mozart and one of his famous compositions. Use the time when mistakes happen to discuss “Can a criticism ever be a positive thing?” and “What does ‘good enough’ mean when it comes to participation in movement games?” The class could possibly become noisy when it should be silent because students may not understand the closing question and become frustrated. Teacher be prepared to lead a brief discussion regarding how arts is an expression of individual perspectives. Encourage a written response after the discussion.


  1. If/ when students become very comfortable saying Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, staying with a steady pulse/ rhythm then one syllable can become silent and body percussion can be substituted in. Example: “INE” becomes a clap, “A” becomes a thigh slap, etc. Be very careful not to add too many too quickly.
  2. Shake up the order of the circle so students do not become so familiar with “their’ syllable.
  1. Adaptive Dimension:
  1. Students could write a response to one group’s play performance instead of both groups performing.
  2. Students could choose to write a play with the provided information rather than improv.

Play to Act Out:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: child prodigy: harpsichordist, pianist, organist, violinist, composer. Age 6 he plays for Empress Maria Theresa; meets Johan Christian Bach. Composed first opera at age 12. Age 13 he is appointed the concertmaster at the court where his dad worked; unpaid for 2 years when a new archbishop is appointed. He gets fired but is eventually reinstated.

Mozart’s father, Leopold Mozart: highly esteemed violist, court musician, composer, author, taught his son. Planned extensive tours around Europe to showcase his son’s abilities.

Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna: also a gifted musician.

Mozart’s mother: died while on tour with Mozart in Paris.

Mozart’s wife, Constanze Weber: Had 2 talented sisters. She was an opera singer. 4 of their 6 children do not survive. Leopold does not want his son Mozart to marry Constanze. Both Mozart and Constanze live beyond their means and are careless with their money causing financial hardships. She remarries after Mozart’s death and enjoys a long a comfortable life benefiting from Mozart’s growing fame.

Narrator 1: Mozart spends time in Italy, Salzburg, and Vienna and enjoys prosperity (although he was terrible with his money) as a pianist, teacher, and composer. Died December 5, 1791 (age 35), inexpensive funeral, unmarked grave.

Narrator 2: Mozart exemplified elegance, balance, poise, refinement, and sophistication. Opera was central to his career. He created compelling, realistic characters dramatically and musically.

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