Living Books for Composer Study: Antonio Vivaldi
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Composer Study with Living Books: Antonio Vivaldi


I’ve learned over the past few years the benefit of  reading living books and I am making a real effort this year to add as many living books into our days as possible.

Composer study and artist study are not something that are generally taught in the regular school system but hang around homeschoolers for a little while and chances are you will hear about them soon enough!

Composer and artist study could be really overwhelming for kids but teaching them with living books makes it so easy, both to teach and for the kids to understand. Who doesn’t love listening to stories about the lives of people in the past?

Lately we’ve been studying Antonio Vivaldi for our composer. Obviously we don’t just read books, we are also listening to his music, but we’ve really enjoyed the books and learning about him that way instead of from a dry textbook.

Today I wanted to share some of our favorite living books we read about Vivaldi.

Living Books for Composer Study: Antonio Vivaldi


Lives of the Musicians:
Good Times, Bad Times (And What the Neighbors Thought)

It’s no secret that Beethoven went deaf, that Mozart had constant money problems, and that Gilbert and Sullivan wrote musicals. But what were these people–and other famous musicians–really like? What did they eat? What did they wear? How did they spend their time? And–possibly most interesting of all–what did their neighbors think?
Discover the fascinating and often humorous stories of twenty famous musicians–people of all shapes, sizes, temperaments, and lifestyles, from various countries and historical periods. Beginning with Vivaldi and ending with Woodie Guthrie, Lives of the Musicians brings musical history to life!

Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery

Vivaldi, Venice and violins: all three are celebrated in Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, a compelling mystery story about an orphan girl in the early 1700s who is in search of her roots. A central clue to the mystery is a missing Stradivarius violin that the Duke of Cremona has brought to Vivaldi’s school of the Pieta in the hopes of finding his long lost grandchild. You’ll have to watch the story unfold to learn its conclusion! This is the book that goes along with the audio CD, we listened to the CD and then read the book, the CD is excellent because of the addition of all of Vivaldi’s music!

I, Vivaldi

In this dynamic picture-book biography, told as if by Vivaldi himself, the famous musician’s energetic personality and steadfast dedication to music come alive.

Despite his mother’s vow for him to become a priest, young Vivaldi is only interested in music. He soon grows from a feisty boy who wants to play the violin into a stubborn young man who puts his musical training ahead of his studies for priesthood.

Beautiful, ornate artwork portrays the spirit and splendor of Vivaldi’s hometown, Venice. A historical note, musical score, and glossary will help readers more fully appreciate Vivaldi’s life and musical genius.

The Orphan Singer

The Dolcis are poor and cannot afford to train their daughter’s beautiful voice, so they give her to the”ospedalo,” where she is raised as an orphan and trained for the opera.


Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

In eighteenth-century Venice, Italy, the finest musical performances are heard at an orphanage called the Ospedale della Pieta. Hidden from the audience is an orchestra of young orphan girls, some with physical disabilities and illnesses.

Padre Antonio Vivaldi, their music teacher, is inspired by the talented and determined young girls. When Vivaldi and his students are separated, Vivaldi is inspired to compose a set of concertos that mark the passing of time–the great baroque masterpiece entitled The Four Seasons.

Back matter includes an author’s note with further historical and biographical information, as well as the text of the sonnets that accompany the music.

The Story of Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day

Discover what it would be like to travel through the four seasons in one day, following a little girl called Isabelle and her dog, Pickle, as they take on the adventure of a lifetime. As a sign of the changing seasons, Isabelle carries a little apple tree with her, and we see it bud, blossom and lose its leaves. Each spread features a musical note to press and a 10 second sound clip from the original score of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Illustrated by artist Jessica Courtney-Tickle, the book also features a biography of Vivaldi at the back along with a guide to the music.

Want to go deeper with your Antonio Vivaldi composer study?
Here’s a complete study for you!

Antonio Vivaldi Composer Unit Study


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