Free Music Studies: Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg: The Story of the Boy Who Made Music in the Land of the Midnight Sun

Edvard Grieg was a Norwegian pianist and composer during the Romantic period.

Free eBook

  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
  • Listen to “Variation on a German Melody Op. 1.” or “Norwegian Bridal Procession” by Grieg.
  • Learn more about Norway.
  • Visit the fjords.
  • Listen to an Ole Bull composition in the video below.
  • Learn more about Ole Bull.
  • View an Ole Bull Stradivari violin at the Smithsonian.
  • Compare/contrast Bergen, Norway to Leipzig, Germany.
  • Take a peak inside Richter’s Manual of Harmony.
  • Take a harmony music theory lesson.
  • Listen to “Nordisches Lied” or “Northern Song” by Schumann, the musical cryptogram based on the letters of his friend Gade’s name.
  • Listen to a sample of Grieg’s version (or listen to the entire work free with Amazon Music Unlimited), “Gade” Op. 57, No. 2.
  • We will study Robert Schumann later, but for now you can read a brief biography of him at
  • Rikard Nordraak wrote the national anthem of Norway. Listen to a portion of the anthem.
  • When Rikard Nordraak died at the early age of 23, Grieg immediately wrote “Funeral March in Memory of Rikard Nordraak.” Listen to a sample.
  • Many will be familiar with Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” part of the music Grieg put to Ibsen’s Peer Gynt.
  • One of the collaborations between Bjornstjerne Bjornson and Grieg was Olav Trygvason. Listen to a portion.
  • Listen to Grieg’s “In Autumn” by watching the video below.
  • Liszt sight-read Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Listen to a portion.
  • We will study Liszt later, but for now you can read a brief biography of him at
  • Throughout the story, the author quotes people who were close to Grieg and Grieg himself, usually relating to the composer’s talent. Make a list of these quotations in order. Read them through to get an idea of how those voices influenced Grieg. Do you have a better understand of why Grieg may have been “so sensitive … about music writing that he never allowed any one to watch him”?
  • View a photo of “tune house,” Grieg’s study at his home called Troldhaugen.
  • The author gives a description of Grieg’s appearance. Draw an illustration from the description.
  • You’ll find some of the compositions mentioned by the author in the Selections below.
  • Learn more about Jenny Lind.
  • Why do you think the author gave the book the subtitle he did? (Hint.)
  • Add Grieg to your composer timeline.
  • You can write or narrate your story on Grieg notebooking pages below.
  • Use the “Some Questions” section as oral or written narration prompts.
  • Learn more about Grieg from the Book of Knowledge:

    [Edvard Grieg was] the greatest of the Norwegian composers. His father, the English consul in Bergen, was of Scotch descent. His mother was Norwegian, a fine musician, able to be soloist in concerts in Bergen. She was Grieg’s first teacher, and she surrounded him with music, formal and informal, in his own home. Ole Bull, the violinist, who stopped at the Grieg country home when Edvard was nearly fifteen, recognized the boy’s ability and persuaded the parents to send him to Leipzig Conservatory.After Grieg’s return from Germany he met Rikard Nordraak, a talented young Norwegian composer who, along with Ole Bull, believed that the music of their country should have the flavor of the folk songs. The three men carried out their ideas in spite of much opposition.Grieg’s best work is in his songs and in some of his short piano pieces. A set of Northern Dances, Opus 17, is especially beautiful. Most children play some of his Lyric Pieces which in their small way portray the folk tales of the rocky fiords of Norway.”Nineteenth-Century Peaks in Music” from The Book of Knowledge

 Further Investigation

Edvard Grieg, Composer
Biography for at DSO Kids.

Edvard Grieg, Composer
Biography at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

About Grieg
Extensive biography at the Edvard Grieg Museum.

Selected Works
Grieg Greatest Hits

Grieg: Greatest Hits
Our favorite series.

“Lyric Pieces Book III — Little Bird”

“Lyric Pieces: Spring Dance, Op. 38, No. 5”

“Lyric Pieces, Op. 12, No. 1, Arietta”

Peer Gynt

“Morning Mood”

“Lyric Suite, Op. 54 – No 2. Norwegian Rustic March”

“Lyric Pieces, Op. 38, No. 2, Folk Song”

“Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16, 1st Movement”


Edvard Grieg
Biography, selected works, and activity sheet at

About Troldhaugen
Photos and background about Grieg’s Norwegian home (including a great photo of his “hut”) from the Grieg Museum.

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


“Edward Grieg”
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.

Edvard Grieg by H. T. Fink
Public domain biography that includes a list of his works in the back.

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

Norwegian March from Lyric Suite
Free listening lesson plan download from the Sydney Symphony.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

World Map
At for locating Norway and Germany.

Norway Map
PAT map for locating Bergen.

Germany Map
PAT map for locating Leipzig.

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

Grieg: The Story of a the Boy Who Made Music in the Land of the Midnight Sun 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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