Saturday, September 11, 2010

30 Days of Insight Day 12

If you want to see the original challenge, click here.

Day 12- Your favorite musical artist’s life story. 

Okay, now we're talking!  I am the music teacher after all who has read so many books about musicians and taught about them for so many years.  It's going to be hard to pick only one.

I suppose the one that  comes to mind tonight is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Okay, he is not my all-time favorite musician, but he has the most amazing story. I won't spend a long time discussing his life.  If you want to look him up, I highly recommend this very fun website!  I have used this website in the classroom a lot, and the students love the way in  which it is written.

What intrigues me about Mozart is his young life.  He was a prodigy almost from the beginning, and he could hear something once and play is perfectly with no mistakes.  Okay, that boggles my mind.  He could hear the music in his head before he wrote it down!  Even once he  grew up, he still  had this ability.  He  had perfect  pitch.  He had unbelievable talent! 

And then he wasted his life away.  He was a saucy young man who let his talent go to his head.  He was  proud and arrogant.  And I love  the story about how he told the archbishop off in no uncertain terms (he was working for him at that point).  And the archbishop fired him and literally kicked him down the steps.  I love telling stories  like that!

What a shame that Mozart died young--he was 35.  In fact, there is much conjecture amongst music historians about what his contributions to music would have been had he continued to live.  Music may have really taken a major turn.  He was an absolute musical genius!  

But common sense, he had  not.  He  could not and would not manage money.  He and wife refused to cut back--they had to live the life that they were accustomed to.  He was not a nice man to be around.  And once he was an adult, people just didn't think much of him.   However, he was the first freelance composer in existence.  He worked  for himself, not a wealthy patron.

And his final piece of music--a requiem.   In fact, when he was asked to write it,  he knew it would be his last.  On his deathbed, he was still writing it.  Although the movie  Amadeus is much fictitious, there are 2 scenes that really stand out.  His wife is searching his manuscripts,  and his "friend" comments on the music being copies.  Mozart's wife assures the man that they are originals.  Why is that so shocking?  There are no erasures!  The man did not make mistakes when he wrote music!  And another scene is when he is on his deathbed composing the Requiem.  He hears the music in his head--yes, he did!  He could hear an entire symphony orchestra in his head!  Wow!

What a shame that Mozart did  not choose to use his talent for the glory of the  Lord.  He grew up with a sense of who God was.  He was a churchgoer.  He knew what was right and wrong.  And yet he chose to only pay God lip service when he had to.  It was more important for him to be a secular musician who cared about going to parties and spending money and  of course, passionately writing music.

Wow, I haven't gotten to share this stuff since I was teaching music!  Plenty more useless information in my brain still, and just maybe you'll get to hear it some day!  Aren't you lucky?


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