Young Performer: Natalie Schwamová, 11, Plays Mozart

Stone Soup Bonus Material: Young Performers

Music, Young Creators  /   /  By William Rubel
Stone Soup Magazine
October 2017

Natalie plays Mozart variations on the melody for “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Use this music inspiration for theme-based individual or classroom writing projects.

Mozart (1756-1781) wrote a set of variations on the theme of a French folk song, Ah! vous dirai je maman, in 1780, when he was twenty-five years old. In the English-speaking world we identify the theme with the children’s song, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but in France and most of Europe it is identified with  Ah! vous dirai je maman. This beautiful piece of music is here performed by the Czeck pianist Natalie Schwamová (born 1999) when she was eleven-years-old. Natalie brings grace and skill to this performance.

Project ideas: Besides being a beautiful piece of music performed by a child, the idea of writing variations on a theme can be applied to creative creative projects besides music. For example, you could write a series of stories based on a one theme, or, a class could write a set of stories based on a theme with each child writing one of the variations.

About the Author

In 1973, I was twenty years old, teaching children's art classes at my college, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and came up with the idea that the best way to encourage children to write was to introduce them to the best writing by their peers. Stone Soup grew out of that idea. Along with co-editor Gerry Mandel, I have continued to edit and publish Stone Soup for all these years. I am also a culinary historian. I write about traditional foodways. My book, "The Magic of Fire," is about hearth cooking. My book, "Bread, a global history," speaks for itself. I am currently writing a bread history for a University Press. I publish articles on gardening and traditional foodways at Mother Earth News. I also publish on wild mushrooms and other food-related subjects.

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