Skip Navigation

Spring 2017 Children's Concert Lesson Plans

The Four Seasons

Click here for a PDF version of these lessons

About the Composer

Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy in 1678, and spent most of his life there as a composer, violinist, and teacher. For much of his musical career, he was the violin master, and later the music director at an orphanage in Venice called Pietá. Children at the orphanages in Venice received musical instruction in ensembles and private lessons, and Vivaldi was responsible for much of their instruction. Vivaldi died in Vienna, in 1741.


About the Music

Vivaldi wrote The Four Seasons while he was teaching music at the Pietá. Each of the four sections, or movements of The Four Seasons is written to present the sounds of nature in winter, spring, summer, and fall. This piece is one of the earlier musical examples of composers using musical instruments and melodies to represent non-musical themes. As examples, the melodies for the solo violin portray creeks, birds, dogs barking, storms, mosquitoes and many other elements of nature.

The Four Seasons is a Concerto; a piece of music written for a solo instrument, accompanied by an orchestra. For the Gateway Chamber Orchestra Children’s Concert, the solo violinist is Jessica Blackwell.

About the Soloist

Jessica Blackwell is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and has been a violinist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra since 2009. She is also adjunct faculty in the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University where she teaches violin lessons.


About the Author 

Anna Harwell Celenza is the author of numerous books about music, for children’s and adult audiences. She is currently on the music faculty at Georgetown University. Her book The Four Seasons tells the story behind the music and the composer, and is available from Charlesbridge Publishing. This concert marks Anna Celenza’s third appearance at APSU with Gateway Chamber Orchestra’s Children’s Concerts.


Listening Links

The Four Seasons