Ah yes, Mozart. The child prodigy. The boy who amazed the world with his talent, even causing some to wonder if he was really a grown man with a medical condition making him appear as a boy. (upon exam, the doctors concluded that he was indeed a child, especially after his childlike behavior of riding a stick like it was a horse, but I digress). Also, Mozart wrote Twinkle Twinkle Little Star when he was a boy, right? Perhaps when he was 8, as pictured?
When he grew up?
Somebody else wrote the melody, we don’t know who. It was a popular French folk song called “Ah, vous dirai-je maman”, which is essence means, “Eh, what did you say, Mom?”
What Mozart did do is take that melody and write a series of 12 variations on the theme. This means that he took the simple melody and changed it up a bit, 12 different times. Because of this composition- Mozart’s variations of someone else’s ditty- the melody became well known and hence was associated with Mozart’s work. So go ahead and keep thinking of Mozart next time you hear a child sing their “A,B,C’s”, because Mozart was the one who immortalized the melody into the public’s hearts. Also, this is a very fun encore piece for pianists because it starts out so simple, and people don’t expect the fun that follows.
I hope this clarification does not shatter any of your fantasies of the child genius dreaming about astronomy. Rest assured that he did write many beautiful music pieces while he was a child. He wrote little nursery rhyme when he was 5:
He later wrote his first opera when he was 8.
To learn more about his childhood, I recommend this charming little booklet written specifically for children: Mozart: The story of a little boy and his sister who gave concerts, written by Thomas Tapper, now in the public domain.