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June 25, 2012 / alice

when art, music & emotion combine

do you remember the first time you ever heard a song that seeped through your skin, burying itself into an unknown place inside your body?

how often does a song pull you through space, time and into an earlier version of yourself?


i just received the best “thank you” note from a class i taught a few weeks ago. this beautiful note reminded me to post the kids art and report on the project i developed for this class.  ( you may remember i mentioned the class on facebook….if you aren’t following avenues of artistry on facebook, please do! i post  articles, thoughts and images about art, health & happiness.)

i love all the little cutouts they made!

the more time i spend in the health & wellness sphere the more i try to fuse artistic expression and holistic wellness in my lesson plans.  i remember listening to music and drawing along with the songs some point during elementary school. so for this 4th grade class learning about the jazz era, i  took this concept to a  new level and created a project that combines music, art that also touched on emotional awareness.

the kids walked into the class from lunch looking excited. but as they sat down i noticed they started shifting uneasily in their seats  unsure of what to make of the new person in their class room.   so i led the class in a few breathing exercises. this helped them transition from lunch back into classroom time (and helped me transition into being in their classroom with them!).  i was shocked at how excited they were  to participate in these breathing exercises. the experience of leading these exercises was one of the highlights of this whole experience. it really concertized some of the things i have been learning about.

i showed the class a list of colors and explained how different colors are said to correlate with different emotions. then, we listened to 4 very different songs. i asked them to listen to each song, interpret the language of the music and to visually communicate the emotions each song expressed. they had the option of using the color list i shared with them to express the range of feelings or use what ever colors they wanted to create the images. each student also had the opportunity to draw a mini self portrait and paste the cut-out onto the drawing to further express how they felt listening to each song.

at first most of them were hesitant and unsure how to interpret the songs because they were searching for the “right way” to illustrate the song. i had to explain individually to almost every one of them that they should just try to decide for them-self how they wanted it to look. how scary it is when you are living in a world of “right answers” to be given the opportunity to come up with your own answer. i know this is sometimes difficult for me too.

i could write forever on this (and maybe i will in the future)… thanks for reading & here is their work! 


you want to listen to the songs? i thought you might. here they are…. can you guess which segment of each kids art work goes with each song (each song has its own 1/4 of the paper)?

Miles Davis- So What


Souad Massi- Raoui


Rafael Mendez- Flight of the Bumble Bee


King Mo Dee- Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Spring (Massive Scratch Mix


take a listen lemme know what you think. or even make your own little art piece. what songs inspire you? comments welcome!

One Comment

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  1. rachelle / Jun 25 2012 7:12 pm

    Love this, also love comparing the art to the music. What a cool idea!

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