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* music and art


From: MaryAnn Kohl (maryann_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 20 2001 - 16:54:16 PST

The following ideas to integrate music and art were submitted and then
compiled by MaryAnn Kohl, Thanks to all who helped.
If you think of something to add, please send to MaryAnn or the group.

Beat Tracks
Get the cheap plastic cars, party favors work well, play some music with a
good beat and drive your car to the beat of the music.

Our elem. music teacher has about a half dozen large, realistic, painted
portraits of some of the major classical. 5th graders chose a composer,
listened to the music, and create an expressionistic portrait of the
composer, incorporating some characteristics of the music or info about the
composer's life. One girl drew Bach with very regularly spaced curls on his
white wig and even rhythmic marks in the background to go along with Bach's
sometimes repetitive rhythms. Beethoven was shown with wilder than normal
hair; complementary colors flashing out at us, brow more furrowed than
usual. Therefore, they were actually copying the original

portraits, but making them more expressive of the kind of music composed.
   menichino "ArtsEdNet Talk"

Cubist Drawings
Borrow musical instruments from the local symphony and the kids do Cubist
drawings of them. Did a realistic contour drawing (used a violin, trumpet,
saxophone) then drew circles, straight lines and curve lines over the entire
picture. Colored with colored pencils, warm colors for the instrument areas,
cool colors for background. ArtsEdNet Talk

out of large cans and paper bags castanets out of cardboard and plastic
lids, maracas, papier-mâché, rainsticks out of paper tubes. If you want
directions, send me you address and I'll send you copies. The directions
came from a book my music teacher gave me.

Garbage Instruments
*Sandpaper scrapers (rub against each other) made out of old check book
   Beth Krebs second grade

Garbage Instruments
*Make great shakers by nailing 2 bottle caps on a nail ( you might have to
bend it around to loosen it)
   Beth Krebs second grade

Garbage Instruments
*jars with different amounts of water with a pencil to ping them
   Beth Krebs second grade

Garbage Instruments
*Assign a group of kids a passage of a favorite story and let them come up
with the sound effects for a read aloud. These can be anything but their
   Beth Krebs second grade

Great Artists -
inspired by music
tried to create art like the music.
Kandinsky, Matisse, Mondrain
good article in Scholastic Art from a few years back on Kandinsky and how
music influenced him.

play very different styles of music and have them create non-objective works
in response to the different styles.
   Dawn in Tucson ?

... big in the 19th century. Pamela Coleman Smith and Manet, just to mention
a few were also into this.
Sanders "ArtsEdNet Talk"

Interdisciplinary Connections: Art and
- a set of Take-5 study prints that includes a teacher resource guide
containing a multitude of meaningful interdisciplinary explorations of art
and music. The research, prints, and resource guide have received high
praise and have won an award for excellence. The prints are available
through Crystal Productions. A chapter in our book "Bridging the Curriculum
through Art" is dedicated to art and music. by Nancy Walkup and Pam Stephens
pgstephens "ArtsEdNet Talk"

John Cage's writing, and his collaborations with Merce Cunningham and set,
costume, and lighting designers? a great "jumping off" point to extend your

A thought: using the human body as an art form, with or without sound, e.g.
dance, photographing moving body, creating sounds or abstract shapes that
reflect the movement tension rhythm emotion the body portrays -- gesture
drawing with or without music: the body as a connector between 2-dimensions
(flat work) and 3-dimensions (sculpture etc) and on into

Computer-generated music or virtual sound, compared to organic "musical
instrument" including human voice "translating" sound into shape and color
   Jane Phelan
    ArtsEdNet Talk

Librarian, music and PE teachers and I -
- wrote a unit based on concepts easily identified in each of our
disciplines. We concentrated on line, color, shape and rhythm, with an
emphasis on rhythm. (see below, end of post)
   Cathy GOBEILLE ArtsEdNet

Instruments -
Make drums, castanets, clappers, maracas, rainsticks, tambourines ArtsEdNet Talk

Instruments -
- come up with performance quality pieces as a group. There was a commercial
on one of the glitzy award shows (Grammies?) of a kids choir doing a
contemporary song, something like that combined with musical instrument
making maybe.
   Michelle Lowe ArtsEdNet Talk

music, art, and poetry-
First we read a poem, divided into groups with rhythm instruments, each
group composed their own music and then performed the poem with accompanying
music for the group. Next time we heard a musician sing some of Shel
Silversteinıs poems, divided into groups and each group constructed a large
paper sculpture interpreting what they had heard. Initial supplies were
24x36 poster board for the base and assorted other colors. Each group
presented and discussed their sculpture for the class.
   barb cicchelli ArtsEdNet Talk

Paint what the music
- "looks" like I have a tape with 1-2 minutes snippets of different types.
Kandinsky is a good artist to do to music. ArtsEdNet Talk

We concentrated on Mexico, Central and South America. Different instruments,
costumes, backdrops, etc. for each country we have visited. For example, in
Mexico, the one third grade class made bird rattles or parrot rattles, a
typical instrument used at fiestas, especially in celebration of New Year.
Some of the classes made piñatas, and there were beautiful sombreros and
serapes. I didn't have time to make maracas but the music teacher made some
with the kindergarten out of simple soup bowls and construction paper.
   Sandy Bacon ArtsEdNet Talk

Shakers -
shakers from gourds
shakers from the commercial toilet tissue rolls ­
   Ann Rogerson Weaver

Song Book, Phrases:
Take a song that is popular and break it up into phrases (same number of
phrases as children in my classroom ~ the music has natural breaks and I try
to break at that point) and then each child makes a drawing that goes with
the individual phrase. Put all the phrases on the overhead and sing and
discuss the meaning and the kids pick the phrase that they feel they can
make a drawing for. Brainstorm ideas to help each other make the drawings.
I type the song, phrase by phrase, and we glue the words to the bottom of
each picture ~ makes it easier to sing the song and to help the child know
when to turn the page. We make a cover, bind the book, sing the song, and
flip the pages of the book. I pick a song that has a message that I like and
has words that are appropriate. We have performed our songs at Monday
morning school assembly, for visiting guests and parents!

Torn paper collages-
of instruments ArtsEdNet Talk

Tour Around the World -
Kick off with a parade for an "Arts in the Alley Festival" which is
sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and we marched with our school carrying
a banner that read "Highland Park Elementary Celebrates the Arts Around the
   Sandy Bacon ArtsEdNet Talk

Fingerpaint to Music -
- in low light to different types of music. There can be no talking, and
talk to your students about listening and feeling the music before they
paint. Classical music works best.

From Australia. Make didgeridoos. I actually tied a proficiency outcome into
the project when I had the kids paint their instruments with patterns. Great
color lesson.
   Sandy Bacon ArtsEdNet Talk

Coordinating Art, Music, PE and Library

Teach lessons based on line (path), shape, color and rhythm. We started by
assembling all the classes in the gym and introducing the concept of
"Averywood". We asked them to look for the ideas of line, color, shape and
rhythm in all four of the stations theyıd visit

Art: grades 5 and 4 ­
Each child had a clipboard, paper, vine charcoal and colored chalk. We
stationed ourselves on a part of lawn that allowed us to look back at a
stand of fir and evergreens, and forward to many maples, oak , assorted
deciduous trees, including an apple orchard that shows up as a series of dot
patterns .
We first used the fir trees as our focus. We compared the tree shapes to
known geometric shapes. The children observed, described then drew the
shapes they saw, especially noting darks and lights. On a separate piece of
paper, 3"x12", using the vine charcoal, the children copied the tree line,
the line where the trees "meet" the sky. Then we talked about it, paths, and
lines in general, as indicators of rhythm. Fast, slow, smooth, jerky ­ they
really caught on, and started seeing (and wanting to notate) the rhythms
they began to sense around them. We observed that the pattern of lights and
darks in the fir trees could be seen as rhythm and probably played on a
drum. One of the kids pointed out that the tops of the cars in the parking
lot made a rhythmic line.
Next, we turned around to face the other view, the maples, etc. and
discussed shapes and colors. On a fresh sheet of paper (9x12 drawing), the
children used the chalk to record colors and shapes. I stressed these two
words, as speed was essential and I didnıt want them getting hung up in
details. We had discussed Impressionism prior to this, so I referred to that
technique and it worked. The last step was to be sure name and room number
were on the paper, put them in a pile, put clipboards in a separate pile and
line up to go to the woods! I simplified this lesson for the younger kids:
concentration on shape and color, no charcoal, and only observation and
discussion of line and rhythm. After noting shapes of trees around us, they
chose one to draw and added background. By the time we got to grades 2 and
1, the trees were in full color; couldnıt let the opportunity to celebrate
color go by.

PE -
The gym teacher designed a scavenger hunt. Children broke into four groups,
each with a parent volunteer. Each had a sheet of items (some written, some
drawn) to look for and a pencil. Children circled located items. All items
could be seen without leaving the path (integrity of environment was
included in the introduction). Much of the focus of this lesson was science
due to the huge number of teachable moments. However, our goals of
introducing the kids to Averywood, establishing "woods behavior" standards
and looking for shapes, colors, line (the path) and rhythms dovetailed
nicely with the whole experience.

Music ­
With the fifth grade, the music teacher played a tape of "The Road Not
Taken" from the collection, "Frostiana". The children had a copy of the poem
and could follow along. Afterward, they discussed the idea of line, path and
listened again to hear the cadence of the song, which is the same speed and
rhythm as walking. Then the teacher played a tape of rhythms and children
came up to a large piece of paper to make lines that described the rhythms
they heard. We werenıt satisfied with the quality of the Frostiana
recording, however, and changed this lesson for grades 1-4. They heard a
tape of a variety of footsteps, and volunteer students were called to use a
marker and make a line (on a 3ıx5ı roll of white paper we rigged to some
easels and a tree) that showed what they heard. This was a lot of fun; they
heard crunching in snow, high heels on pavement, going upstairs, etc. It was
easy to see the connection between visual and heard rhythms.

Library ­
Our librarian read the book, Sky Tree by Thomas Locker with Candace
Christiansen. Itıs a HarperCollins book, part of their "Seeing Science
Through Art" series ­ a WONDERFUL book. The illustrations are magnificent ­
all oil paintings showing the same tree throughout the seasons. As the
librarian read the book, she led a discussion of the shape of the tree and
how and why it changed as the seasons changed. Color was discussed relative
to how its use makes one feel the characteristics of each season. This is a
book worth having in your library whether or not you use any of the rest of

Winter Session

I assumed there would be snow when I planned these lessons; no snow! I used
posters of snow scenes instead. The focus idea for all of us was the concept
of a path. I used gray 12"x18" construction paper and a limited palette of
chalk: white, black, brown, rust, purple, blue and all the shades of green I
could find. The first thing we did was recall the shapes and colors we saw
in the autumn. What is still the same? What is different? What is different
between the chalk assortment you have now, compared to last fall? After
looking at some posters which showed snowy fir trees, shadows on snow,
mostly cool colors, the kids drew a snow scene, which included at least one
path and three different tree shapes. The path(s) could be made by a human
on foot, on skis or by an animal. I asked them to please solve the problem
of how to show a path on white snow before they began (scrap paper on
tables). Some decided to use pale blue on white; others discovered the snow
could be done with the flat of the chalk, and the path would show up if done
with the point. These turned out beautifully. They learned to darken the
greens with purple and blue; I showed the older kids how to make a birch
tree, too.

The gym teacher made large signs in the gym showing directions: north,
northeast, east, etc. She had paper plates taped in certain locations all
over the floor, and each child had a set of directions which led them around
the gym to the paper plates (on which were written answers to questions
posed on the sheet). So they had to go five steps north, turn to the east,
take 8 steps, etc. It was complex to design and set up but the kids REALLY
had a fix on directions by the end.

The music teacher chose shorts winter poems ­ longer for the older kids ­
and divided them into stanzas. The class was divided into "cooperative"
groups and each group had access to a set of instruments, mostly percussion.
They had to determine the rhythm of the poem and write music to it. Each
group had time to perform for the others. I wish she had taped this lesson;
observers raved about it!

Our librarian read a wonderful book by Lindsay Barrett George, In the Snow:
whoıs been here? With lovely, clear illustrations, it follows two children
through a snowy path in the woods where they discover animal tracks. When
the page is turned, the identity of the animal that made the tracks is
revealed. The class was divided into five cooperative groups. At the
beginning of the lesson, each group was given a poster with a description of
one of the animals found in the book. The groups were given time to study
the description and report to the class as a whole. As the book was read,
the librarian paused before revealing the animal to allow a group to
discover that it was their animal that had left the tracks.

Spring Session

We just finished planning this one; it begins on May 1st.

We will go to our original spot outside, and use the view with the deciduous
trees. Iım going to key in on shape and color again, and have them lay out
areas of color with watercolors. Just shapes. When we meet again, in their
regular art class time, Iıll take them back out with fine line black markers
to add some detail.

PE- We made two poles and attached a "foot" to each (the 12" long print ­ in
fluorescent paint ­ of the gym teacherıs sneaker, printed on cardboard and
sealed with clear contact paper). The Averywood path will be divided into
four sections; the first class will map the first _, the next will do the
second _, etc. Each child will have a clipboard with a paper for his _ of
the path. When itıs time to rotate, they leave the clipboard for someone in
the next class. By the end, we should have a set of 24 maps. Using these as
a guide, weıll make a LARGE map of Averywood for the cafeteria, at a later

Music and library ­
Music is keying in on the rhythm of rain. Iım not sure yet what theyıll be
listening to ­ she has a rain stick and assorted percussion instruments. The
children will be writing the music they create. The librarian read from
William R. Palmerıs book, Why the North Star Stands Still and other Indian
Legends. The legend of "How the Seasons Were Set" was read to the children
to demonstrate that the written word has rhythm. A poem about the seasons
was also read to demonstrate another form of written rhythm. The children
took turns reading the poem and listening to the rhythm and cadence of their

Cathy Gobeille
Philip Smith School
South Windsor, CT

end of compiled ideas submitted on music and art

MaryAnn F. Kohl
We can learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are dull, some are
pretty, some are broken, most have strange names, all are different colors
... and they fit perfectly in the same box!