Primary Current Assemblies
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART -
NEVER A DULL MOMENT!
By Margaret Liversidge
Suitable for Whole School
To enable young children to see that their liveliness is a valuable part of learning and growing.
Preparation and materials
- A board or card showing the words ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756–1791’.
- Cards for three children to hold showing the numbers 4, 5 and 6 written large.
- The ‘Factoids’ in 5. below could be delivered by individual children.
- Introductory music by Mozart, e.g. Minuet in G.
- Note: This assembly is adapted from one originally posted in April 2000 and is offered as a way of responding to the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.
- Ask the children to tell you about some of the thoughts that they may have had while waiting for assembly to begin. Prompt with some suggestions e.g. about friends, playtime, recent classroom activity, etc. Explain that the human brain is rather like a computer, able to take in and sort out information all the time, and that this is part of how we learn things.
- Ask them to list some of the physical activities they enjoy doing. Encourage generalizations such as running, skipping, hopping, as well as more specific sports such as football and gymnastics. Explain that, like the brain, our bodies are also constantly active and this is how we learn and grow.
- Explain that you are going to tell the children about a boy just like them who was very lively and had difficulty sitting still. Say his name together from the board. Mozart was Austrian, born in Salzburg.
- Tell the story as follows:
Once there was a boy who couldn’t sit still at all. He couldn’t stop thinking either, and what he thought about most of the time was music. He made up tunes in his head all day long and even during the night! Mozart was full of fun and he was always singing and jumping about and amusing other people. His parents realized that his tunes were rather clever and so they decided to help him with his music.
(Child holds up Card 4) When Mozart was only 4 years old he started to have proper music lessons along with his sister.
(Child holds up Card 5) When he was only 5 years old, he was so good at playing the piano that his parents took him on tour to other countries to show off his talent.
(Child holds up Card 6) When he was only 6 years old he started to write down his music on paper using musical notes so that other people could play the tunes he was making up in his head. His first special written tune was called Minuet in G. If you used introductory music, explain that Mozart composed the music they heard. Throughout his life he composed what many people believe to be the most wonderful music.
- Explain that this year marks the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth and that all around the world people are celebrating the composer and his music. You might find the following ‘Mozart Factoids’ useful – they could be read out by individual children:
- Mozart was born on 27 January 1756.
- His given name when he was baptized was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart.
- He went by a number of different names during his life partly because he could speak a number of European languages and adapted his name to the language he was using at the time.
- He is best known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- Amadeus means ‘lover of God’ or ‘loved by God’. Many people find that his music inspires their religious faith.
- As a child Mozart would sometimes spell his name backwards as Trazom – just for fun!
- Mozart died in 1791 at the young age of 35. A story spread that he had been poisoned by a rival composer. This is still believed by some people today and has become the basis for books, plays and films.
- In the year 2000 a group of experts concluded that he had probably died of rheumatic fever but no one knows for sure.
- Many people died younger in those days before modern medicine.
- Mozart had a short but amazing life, but what has happened to his music since his death is even more astounding. It is heard and loved right around the world.
- Remind the children that Mozart was a child like them. Draw the application that the ideas in each child’s busy mind and the things they enjoy doing are to be encouraged as they learn to realize what they are especially good at.
Time for reflection
Tell the children that we are going to think about our clever minds and busy bodies. Allow a quiet moment when children are guided to reflect on their favourite activities.
Thank you God for our clever minds.
Help us to learn well.
Thank you God for our busy bodies.
Help us to keep fit.
‘You shall go out with joy’ (Come and Praise 2, 98)