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250 years ago, on 16 December 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. To celebrate this anniversary, institutions across Europe created activities related to #Beethoven250 and commemorating the Ode to Joy from the choral movement of the Beethoven’s 9th Symphony as an anthem of European fraternity and the official anthem of the European Union.


As a powerful network between cultural heritage institutions and educational sectors, the Europeana Education community ran #reinventingBeethoven - a creative educational challenge based on Beethoven's life and work for students in primary and secondary education.

The principal aims of this challenge were to encourage students’ creativity with cultural heritage resources and to introduce music as a powerful educational tool in the classroom for all types of subjects.

To help teachers, Europeana Education created a new gallery called 'Life and works of Beethoven' in Europeana Classroom and published two posts 'Beethoven's Ode to Joy: a cultural kaleidoscope' and 'Geniuses and their (dis)abilities' on the Europeana blog. These cover two main topics: interdisciplinary work with cultural heritage and inclusivity and diversity in artistic, cultural and scientific domains. 

Beethoven in Schönbrunn.
Universität Osnabrück | Historische Bildpostkarten


We invited teachers to introduce Beethoven’s life and work to students and coordinate and supervise the making of a group creative artwork. Each teacher was free to use the content in their own way using Europeana materials, digital activities and games. We encouraged schools to explore museum collections - physically or virtually - with museum educators to increase their knowledge around this topic.

The basic rules for participating in the challenge were to take care of students' privacy, to make sure any Europeana material used was available under Public Domain or Creative Commons licences, and to take Beethoven’s life and work as an inspiration for creative artworks.

Announcing the winners

Explore how the challenge has been developed and discover creative projects, by viewing the winners and the finalists. The winners have the opportunity to write a learning scenario for Europeana Education. This learning scenario will be promoted on social media and automatically entered into our 2021 Europeana Education learning scenarios competition.