An interdisciplinary symposium at our Warsaw Montessori High School on Friday, December 4.
An interdisciplinary symposium was held at our Warsaw Montessori High School on Friday, December 4.
Because the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth this year, the main theme of the symposium was the life and work of this great composer. In this way, we wanted to honor the memory of one of the most important music creators of all time, who composed as many as 722 pieces over the past 45 years. In connection with this event, students of individual classes prepared presentations on various aspects of Beethoven’s life and creative work.
At the beginning of our Symposium, we had the pleasure to listen to a lecture by Mr. Marcin Majchrowski, a musicologist who conducts music programs in the Second Program of Polish Radio. Thanks to him, we could learn that Beethoven used the key of C minor to compose his most dramatic music, works of the highest intensity, characterized by “turbulence and heroism”. We could see this for ourselves by listening to various pieces in the key of C minor, such as: Sonata in C minor, Op. 13 “Pathétique” or Variations on the Dressler’s march.
After the lecture by Mr. Marcin Majchrowski, we moved on to the students’ presentation. The first of them was introduced by students from class 1a: Oliwia, Karolina, Janek, Helena and Natalia, who told us about Beethoven’s private life. The presentation was extremely interesting, we learned a lot about the composer’s family and his education. At the end, we played a game prepared by the students, which certainly helped us consolidate the newly acquired information in an interesting way.
The second presentation was about Beethoven’s hearing loss, a great tragedy in the composer’s life. Students of class 2a: Daria, Amelia, Emilia and Oliwia told us about this extremely difficult and moving period in the form of a recording. The presentation was made in an extremely businesslike and competent manner.
A group of students from class 2b: Zosia, Marysia, Maciek, Michał and Ksawery prepared a podcast, the guest of which was Mrs. Agnieszka Kulczycka, a graduate of choral conducting at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk. Students interviewed Mrs.Agnieszka, who told them about the innovative ideas that Beethoven introduced to the world of music. The project was prepared in an ingenious and professional manner.
We then turned to the question of Beethoven’s relationship with Napoleon Bonaparte. Students from class 1a: Sylwia, Marysia, Teodor and Anya presented numerous facts and anecdotes from the lives of these two prominent figures. For example, we could learn from the presentation what interesting pseudonyms Napoleon Bonapart (including Nabulio and Little Corporal) had.
The subject of the next group, which included students from class 2b: Staś, Piotrek, Marysia, Antek and Witek, was the life and work of Beethoven against the background of scientific events of his time. The students introduced the audience to this difficult topic in an interesting and effective way in the form of an animation, the execution of which certainly required a lot of work and time.
Students from class 2b: Bruno, Iga, Amelia, Maks and Daria told us about the connections between Beethoven’s music and literature. We had the opportunity to see a portrait of Beethoven presented in literature, for example in Zbigniew Herbert’s poem Beethoven. It was an extremely moving and reflective presentation.
Thanks to the presentation of the next group, which included students from class 2b: Maks, Weronika, Maja, Dorota and Patryk, we were able to familiarize ourselves with Beethoven’s sonatas, primarily the most famous The Moon Sonata, to which we find many references in painting and pop culture.
Members of the next group decided to present their topic in an extremely original way. Dressed as Beethoven Xawery, in a characteristic red scarf and lush, paper hair, he told us about his patrons, patrons and the hottest fans of his talent, while briefly sketching their portraits.
The symposium ended with a presentation devoted to Beethoven’s 9th symphony – the first vocal-instrumental symphony and one of the most important works of classical music. Students from class 2a: Tymon, Paweł, Ola and Miłosz told us about the premiere performance of a symphony, initially critically received by the contemporary music world. With this brilliant piece, called the “divine revelation”, which gave rise to modern music, colleagues ended our meeting with Ludwig van Beethoven.
All the presentations were very interesting and had an individual style. However, the jury, which consisted of students from class 1 IB: Basia, Nina, Natalia, Lena, Maja, Adam, Michał, Paige and Péter, could choose only the best three works. Third place was taken by the eighth group with Xawery, who was effectively playing the role of the composer. The second place was taken by the first group, which presented Beethoven’s private life in an attractive way and organized an interesting game. The victory went to the fifth group, which presented a presentation in the form of an animation in a unique way.
Congratulations to each group. The students put a lot of effort into the preparation of their presentations. Big thank you to the teachers who helped the students with their tasks, and to Mr. Marcin Majchrowski, who made the meeting truly professional.
Works and projects presented during the symposium