Learn About Beethoven with the Muppets’ “Eight Little Notes” and the classic Beethoven Lives Upstairs

I love to create cross-curricular lessons for my students.  This lesson combines music, writing, and the Muppets as students learn about Ludwig van Beethoven.  For added fun, we watch/listen to/read Beethoven Lives Upstairs.

 The Muppets’ Eight Little Notes:  Rowlf the Dog plays the piano and sings a song about why we should admire Beethoven’s ability to write all those symphonies, quartets, sonatas (and more!) using just eight little notes.

The tune pays homage to some of Beethoven’s greatest hits.  Students will recognize “Ode to Joy” and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.  You might enjoy asking student to tell what they already know about Beethoven, and to name some of his most famous songs before you watch the clip.

My students like to write essays because I call it “Paragraph POW!”  Here is my Paragraph POW! sheet that goes with the Eight Little Notes song.  It gives just enough room to write a summary or response to the song.

To learn more about Beethoven, go to the now-classic resource: Beethoven Lives Upstairs, a fantastic movie that kids and music teachers love.  Your class will enjoy listening to the soundtrack. The movie was adapted into a book that my students have always enjoyed.

I found a FREE worksheet and teacher’s guide for Beethoven Lives Upstairs:

Worksheet (short answer and fill in the blank)

Teacher’s Guide

Check out Beethoven on the Internet:

Beethoven: Life and Work: learn about Beethoven and hear clips of his symphonies

LudwigvanBeethoven.com: a good site for all things Beethoven

Fun fact: Eight Little Notes was written for Snoopy! The Musical.  (I’m sure it was intended for Schroeder.)  The song was not performed in the play.

 Teacher Tip: You might want to talk with your school’s music teacher before you delve too deeply into Beethoven.  You don’t want to step on her toes.  On the other hand, the teacher might be thrilled for you to supplement her lessons.


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Posted in Academics,Tips for Teachers by Corey Green @ Jul 12, 2013


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