Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was a composer, violinist, and priest. He was also a music teacher at an orphanage for girls, for whom he wrote music. (Read more of his biography on this great site)
Here is the poem that inspired Vivaldi to compose the first movement of Spring in his concerto, The Four Seasons:
Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.
Vivaldi’s Spring uses music to tell us a story about springtime, birds, streams and breezes, and thunderstorms. As you listen, can you tell which musical themes represent the different aspects of the story? The order in which different musical ideas happen is called the music’s form.
A great book for ages 6-9 by Anna Harwell Celenza, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, is available through the Cambridge Public Library. For my students, I also have a copy for lending.
Here is a student/teacher ukulele duet of the main theme to Spring: