How to use Online Sources to Teach Classical Composers and Forms

classical composers and forms

Music teachers always wonder how they can keep their students engaged in the studio and classroom. In this day and age, there are plenty of resources available to help with this, particularly online. Leila Viss of 88 Piano Keys suggests using YouTube, Quizlet, and Kahoot to help students learn about classical composers and forms in a fun and entertaining way.


Videos feature informative clips on main composers and extraordinary performances by top artists of the most popular forms used in the Classical Period. Of course, there’s a few humorous videos as well!


Many students are visual learners. Having them watch videos about classical composers is a great way to keep their interest while still allowing them to learn. As she mentions, the videos also include some humor to help keep the potentially less-than-thrilling topic fun.


Quizlet is another great resource. Leila has created:


Flash cards generated in Quizlet to review the major composers of the time period. In addition, there’s a set of cards that includes the common forms like concerto, symphony, sonata-allegro form and more.


For those unfamiliar with Quizlet, it is essentially an online set of flashcards that are customizable to the topic of choice. For example, Leila has created two sets of cards: one focusing on classical composers and another focusing on classical forms. This is a great resource for studying classical composers and forms as it provides a visual for students to study. For instance, you could place an image of a composer’s face on one side of the card along with their name, and then include information regarding the composer on the reverse side. One of the best features of Quizlet is that it is an easy way to learn on the go.


The third resource she mentions is Kahoot. Here, you can provide students with online games that correspond to the flashcards created on Quizlet. These games allow them to review what they have learned in a fun and engaging way. It allows for one on one and team play as well, giving students a sense of accomplishment when they come out on top.


Leila Viss owns a tech-savvy, creative-based piano studio, blogs at and authored The iPad Piano Studio. Viss is an organist, a nationally-recognized clinician, co-founder of 88 Creative Keys with Bradley Sowash and coordinator of the Piano Preparatory Program at the University of Denver. To hear all of her thoughts on these online resources, or view some of her suggested YouTube videos, please visit

Cassidy is the Digital Marketing Manager at Making Music and has recently begun her career in the music industry. In May 2017, she graduated from the Crane School of Music with a double degree in Music Business and Music Theory. Upon graduating college, Cassidy did an internship with DANSR, Inc. in Illinois before moving to Southern California where she was the NAMM intern for six months. Her favorite instrument is the clarinet, but she also enjoys dabbling with guitar, piano, ukulele, saxophone, and flute.

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