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Free Music Studies: Franz Joseph Haydn

Free Music Studies: Franz Joseph Haydn

Free Music Studies: Franz Joseph Haydn

Haydn: The Story of the Choir Boy Who Became a Great Composer

Franz Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer during the Classical period best known for his development of the symphony.

Free eBook

  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
  • View a modern photograph of the house in which Haydn was born.
  • Take a side trip to learn a bit about George Washington to answer the question about Washington’s birth date.
  • Add Haydn (and George Washington, if you wish) to your composer timeline.
  • The Haydn family called their children by their second names. Sepperl is the Austrian diminutive form of Joseph, a childhood nickname. Listen to the proper pronunciation of Sepperl. Do you have a nickname?
  • Make a list of the instruments Haydn could play.
  • View a photo of the Church of St. Stephen in Vienna, Austria.
  • Make a list of the subjects you learn each day and compare it to those that Haydn learned.
  • View a portrait of the Empress Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria.
  • Learn more about the Empress Maria Theresa.
  • View a photo of Michael Haydn, Joseph Hadyn’s brother.
  • Michael Haydn became a famous composer in his own right, creating an incredibly large body of work. Listen to his Jubiläumsmesse (scroll down).
  • Listen to a rooster’s crow. Can you imagine a young singer sounding quite like that?
  • View a portrait of the Italian poet and opera writer Pietro Antonio Domenico Trapassi, better known as Metastasio.
  • View a portrait of Nicola Porpora, another opera writer.
  • View a portrait of Christoph Gluck, who also wrote operas.
  • Read more about Christoph Willibald Gluck.
  • We’ll learn more about Mozart in a later study, but for now you can read his biography at Classics for Kids.
  • Learn more about Haydn’s contract with Prince Esterházy.
  • View a portrait of Prince Esterházy.
  • Learn more about smallpox and why Haydn would have had scars after having the virus.
  • View a color portrait of Haydn.
  • You can listen to Haydn’s “Ox Minuet” in the video below.
  • Review Beethoven.
  • View the port of Dover.
  • You’ll find links to The Creation and The Seasons in the Selected Works below.
  • Who composed The Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, St. Paul, and Elijah? (St. Paul and Elijah are by Mendelssohn.)
  • Learn more about Haydn House in Vienna.
  • Listen to the “Emperor’s Hymn.”
  • You can write or narrate your story on Haydn notebooking pages below.
  • Use the “Some Questions” section as oral or written narration prompts.
  • Learn more about Haydn from the Book of Knowledge:

    Joseph Haydn (1732–1809) was born into a world full of changing musical customs. His parents were not musicians but they taught their son the folk songs of their people, the Austrians. Joseph was a choir boy but beyond that his musical education was limited. He was practical, however, and learned from everyone around him. His friendly nature and adaptability helped him to find a position with Karl Joseph von Furnberg, a musical nobleman with a small estate. His patron could afford only a few string players, and it was Haydn’s task to use them to the best advantage. He did away with harpsichord parts of the Corelli-style chamber sonatas and used four strings. Two violins took the part of the soprano and alto voices, the viola that of the tenor, and the violoncello that of the bass.The string quartet begun by Haydn became one of the favorite forms of this period of music, the Classic, and the one that followed the Romantic. Many of the pieces for quartet were in the newly popular sonata form. In the course of his long life Haydn wrote eighty-three quartets, some of them extremely difficult, others within the reach of players with little chamber-music experience.”Three Great Centuries in Music” from The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

Joseph Haydn, Composer
Biography for kids from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Joseph Haydn
Simple biography at

Franz Joseph Haydn
Biography aimed at students at

Selected Works
Haydn Greates Hits

Haydn: Greatest Hits
There isn’t a Haydn collection in our favorite series. This one seems to be similar in nature.

The Creation

The Seasons

“Surprise Symphony”

Symphony No. 100 “Military”

Haydn String Quartets


Franz Joseph Haydn
Biography, selected works, and activity sheet at

Use this interactive at to create a composer’s timeline.

Joseph Haydn

Joseph Haydn, The Merry Little Peasant by Opal Wheeler
Some really enjoy these music biographies by Opal Wheeler.

“Francis Joseph Haydn: The Choir Boy”
Chapter from Stories of Great Musicians by Katherine Lois Scobey.

“Josef Haydn”
Chapter from The World’s Greatest Men of Music by Harriette Brower. Subtitled Story-Lives of Master Musicians, this public domain title tracks nicely with our free music studies.

“Franz Joseph Haydn”
Chapter from First Studies in Music Biography also by Thomas Tapper.

“Progress and Perfection of the Instrumental Style: Karl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Joseph Haydn”
Chapter from Essentials in Music History also by Thomas Tapper.

Haydn by J. Cuthbert Hadden
Public domain biography for older students that covers his works in more depth.

Child's Own Book of Great Musicians

Child’s Own Book of Great Musicians: The Complete Collection from Bach to Wagner
Complete collection on Kindle (can be read on any device).

The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence by Jane Stuart Smith & Betty Carlson
Our favorite overall music appreciation reference book. Over 300 pages long covering 43 composers along with Christmas carols. Not only covers the influence of the composer but also how his faith influenced his works. Recommended reading and listening guides at the end of each section. Highly recommended!

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Kindergarten Class 4: Forte and Piano/Rhythmic Notation
Listening activities to go with the Surprise Symphony.

Franz Josef Haydn
Listening activities at

Printables & Notebooking Pages

World Map
At for locating Austria.

Austria Map
PAT map for locating Rohrau, The River Leytha, Hainburg, and Vienna.

Free 18-Page Composer Notebooking Set {Time Limited}
This free set of generic pages from goes perfectly with our studies.

Haydn: The Story of the Choir Boy Who Became a Great Composer Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the entire series:
Free Music Studies: Child's Own Book of Great Musicians
Free Music Studies: Child’s Own Book of Great Musicians

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