The Color of Music

This is a great activity for kids of all ages. It’s a wonderful way to expose your children to different kids of music, and they’ll receive it with openness and intrigue.

Choose a song that you feel a connection to. For this to work best, you should select a song that has no words or has words sung in a language your children don’t understand. The idea is for them to find the emotion on their own, without the lyrics telling them with to feel.

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Provide paper, markers, crayons, colored pencils, or paint.

Turn on the music and tell them to draw what they hear. I try to tell my students to fill their page with color, but even that might be too much direction. It’s really best to leave it open for their own interpretation

Today we did this activity in my Group Voice class to a beautiful song by a Nigerian singer, Asa. The song, “Awe” has a lot of movement to it, but it’s mellow and groovy, and emotional, and downright beautiful. And because she is singing in another language, I’m not tempted to tell them what she is singing about.

Some of the kids used specific symbols to represent what they heard. One student’s picture told the story of a boy leaving home and then coming back home with a dog. Two used colors and shapes to represent the song.

My favorite moment was when we went around the circle to discuss what the process was like and talk about why they made the artistic choices they did with their drawings. One 7-year-old reflected on her thought process: “The song felt like liquid. Like it was fragile. Like it would float away at any moment. I couldn’t use any geometric shapes, it felt more fragile than that.”

Smarty pants ­čÖé

Have fun with this one! If you’re curious, here is the song we used:

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