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Lesson Plans

Re: music to illustrate

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mon, 12 Apr 1999 00:17:55 EDT

Has anyone tried having the students listen to classical music (or any music
without words) to try to create images that look like the sound they just

I have always been fascinated by the concept, ever since I saw Arthur Dove's
painting showing an image of the sound of a foghorn (I hope I remembered the
artist correctly) and would like to try it with my students, especially now
that I am near the band room where they make beautiful music.

I would appreciate any experiences you have had, good or bad, that might help
me with such a lesson. I have been thinking of having them all listen to the
same passage of music with their eyes shut, several times, as they try to
conjure up colors, shapes, and other elements, then have them sketch it
quickly to remember it, and paint it. Would they think I have gone nuts?

I teach high school, but they would have much in common with any age (even
mine-ha!). I think it might be a good way to introduce nonobjective or
abstract art.

Incidentally, one of the most extraordinary experiences I had as a teacher
was when a ninth grade Native American student played his traditional flute
while his classmates drew him. It was so incredibly beautiful, and most of
them did their best work that day. I have no doubt it was a direct result of
the music.