FREE Music Lesson about Johann Sebastian Bach that everyone can enjoy!
If you were ever to ask me to name five music composers that came to mind, Johann Sebastian Bach would absolutely be the first one I would name.
Not only did he write TONS of music for all kind of different instruments and voice, he lived an upstanding life, had a happy family and was a devout Christian. He worked for royalty as well as the church, had family music time with his many children, and dedicated many of his works to the Lord ( Writing “Soli Deo Gloria” Which means “Glory to God alone”).
He also sounds like he was a little bit feisty, which makes me laugh a little. ☺
This music appreciation lesson should be an easy way for your to introduce your children to one of the most well known and loved composers of all time.
In this music lesson about J.S Bach, I have given you an introduction to who he is, plus five different works of his for easy listening. Just read the text, listen to the music, and if you need a little extra for your kids to do, fill in a music appreciation form ( You can download for FREE HERE).
There is absolutely no need to listen to all five pieces in a day. You could do one a day, two a day, just one total… Whatever is best for you!
I hope you and your children enjoy this music lesson!
J.S Bach: Who was He?
Johann Sebastian Bach ( March 21st l685 – July 28th 1750) was born in Eisenach, Germany. His father was a town musician, but he had over 300 year’s worth of ancestors who were all professional musicians (wow!).
Both of Bach’s parents had died by the time he was 10 years old, so he was brought up by his older brother, who was a church organist. Johann became a very good organist, as well.
Adulthood and Work
Bach was married twice; first to a lady named Maria Barbara Bach. When she died, he married Anna Magdalena Wilcke, who was a very beautiful singer and musician as well. Between the two marriages, Bach had 20 children! Only 10 of his children lived to adulthood, but four of his sons became notable composers themselves.
Johann Sebastian Bach held three major jobs during his life. First, he worked for a duke, then for a prince, and lastly, he became director of music at the St. Thomas Church and School in Leipzig, Germany.
Even though his job in Leipzig kept him very busy, in his spare time Bach conducted a group of musicians who liked to get together and have performances at a local coffee house ( not too unlike what a lot of musicians do in their spare time today!). He also performed music regularly at home with his wife and children.
During his lifetime, people thought of Bach as just a regular working musician, much like a worship leader would be considered at a Church today. No one really knew much about his music until 100 years after his death, when another composer, Felix Mendelssohn, conducted a performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
Bach is now seen as one of the greatest geniuses in music history. He wrote many different kinds of music — for organ and other keyboard instruments, orchestras, choirs, and concertos for many different instruments.
Five Pieces of Music by J.S Bach
Here are five different pieces of music that Johann Sebastian Bach wrote ( Out of hundreds and hundreds!)
1) Brandenburg Concerto Number 3
Bach Wrote six Brandenburg concertos (a concerto is a piece of music written for a solo instrument with an orchestra to accompany them). These concertos were different though: each one was written for groups of musicians without one being the “star” or soloist! There are parts for 3 violins, 3 violas, and 3 cellos, along with a Harpsichord ( which is the early version of the piano).
2) Piano Prelude Number 1
This piece of music by J.S. Bach is part of a collection of piano pieces that made up a music book ” The Well Tempered Clavier” ( A clavier is a keyboard instrument such as a harpsichord ). This song is the first in the volume, and one of his most famous! (** This piece is also short if you are working with younger children**)
3) Toccata and Fugue in d minor
This dramatic piece played on the Organ may be something you have heard before! It is a stunning piece that depicts a storm… or perhaps something else? As you listen, think about how this could be used as a soundtrack to a scene in a movie or play.
This piece has been featured many times in movies already!
4) Cello Suite Number 1
Bach wrote 6 cello suites ( a suite in music is just a set of pieces of different speeds and character, but usually in the same key signature). The first piece “Prelude” is very well known and beautiful.
When you hear a solo cello piece, it is most often this one!
5) Double Concerto for Two Violins in d minor, First Movement
Bach wrote this concerto for two violin soloists and a stringed orchestra ( and a harpsichord!). It is a fast, exciting piece of music that Bach most likely wrote during his time as a musician in the Royal Court.
( Stop at minute 3: 21 if you just want to hear the first movement).
I hope you enjoyed these beautiful pieces of music by Johann Sebastian Bach! Which was your favorite?