First Teachers

Beethoven began his studies with his father and at the age of eight performed his first concerto accompanying a young singer. This was at five o'clock on the evening of 26th March 1778 in the academy where he studied. This was where his father decided that he should take lessons from several teachers in the different musical disciplines.

A "Useless Old Man"

He began to attend music lessons with a teacher called Van Den Eden, court organist and a friend of his grandfather Luis. these classes did not last long, as the child felt they were a waste of time and that he himself knew more about music than the old man.


His father sought another teacher and in 1779 he was being taught by Tobias Pfeiffer, an excellent musician although a little odd. The latter quickly became friendly with the pupil's father as both of them used to frequent the same taverns. At the same time Ludwig began attending classes with a little known musician called Christian G. Neefe. Both teachers treated their pupil roughly, at times getting him out of bed and forcing him to spend the whole night playing the piano. Surprisingly Beethoven was never bitter about this. However, such behaviour meant that Pfeiffer only lasted a year in Bonn and so Ludwig was soon free from his influence.


In 1780 Ludwig was being taught violin and viola by his cousin Franz Rovantini. At the same time he was attending primary schools, first Neugasse, later Münsterschule, and finally Tirocinium. Beethoven was both overworked and undernourished for a child of his age.

In 1781 he left school for good to dedicate himself full-time to music. He studied organ with Brother Willibald Koch from the Franciscan monastery in Bonn, who finally accepted his as his assistant. Later he studied under Zenser, the organist of the Münsterkirche. By 1783 he was sufficiently trained so as to be able to seek paid appointments, and in 1784 he was appointed assistant organist at court.

Ludwig Van Beethoven
Ludwig Van Beethoven
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