Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn Germany. He Studied piano with Haydn, composition with Salieri, and even studied with Mozart. At perhaps the height of his youthful successes, around age 26, Beethoven started telling his friends he was hearing strange sounds, buzzing noises. He started to became aware that he was developing hearing problems. Can you imagine the despair, and the fear, as this great composer began to realized that he was slowing going deaf? By age 30, he could barely hear, and by age 46 he was finally completely deaf. Most people would probably stop writing music, but rather than do this, Beethoven persevered, and in fact wrote his greatest works after going completely deaf. One amazing example is the famous 9th symphony, (Ode to Joy), which may be considered his most celebrated work of all time. The famous story goes that he insisted on conducting the work in concert, and was often several measures off from the orchestra. Since he could not hear any applause after the performance, he had to be turned around so he could see the reaction of the audience. Five standing ovations. It is amazing to reflect on the amount of determination and passion Beethoven had for music, and the idea that we should never give up. We suggest the reader take a moment now to listen to the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th symphony. See if you can hear the the striving, the desire to break through and overcome in this great work. Imagine the composer writing every note out of his imagination but without the satisfaction of ever hearing it.