Saturday, February 25, 2012

Original Music in the Art Room? Yes please!


A few weeks ago my second graders and I began a journey into the atomized world of French Pointillist paintings by George Seurat. What I didn't anticipate is that our journey bravely blazed a new trail that involved writing and performing an original song together! Yes, ladies and gentleman, the talented 2nd graders I get to see on a daily basis composed an original song all about George Seurat.

It all started  a few years back when I was completing a long-term sub for an amazing art teacher on maternity leave. One of the lessons she left for me to complete was titled Dot, Dot, Seurat! Since then, I have seen similar lessons labeled with the same title, I suppose because it is such an easy way to help students remember through rhyme that the paintings of George Seurat can be identified by the use of lots of dots.

I taught  this lesson at three different schools so far, and this was the first time the rhyme really took the class to a new, totally new musical place. One of the students was repeating the title of the lesson on the board while he worked on his painting, "Dot, Dot George, Seurat! and then he added "likes to paint in dots a lot!" From there, the rhyming spread like wildfire. I was so tickled by the students' interest and impressed by the students rhyme ideas I started jotting their lines down on the board. I shared this story with my other three 2nd grade classes and they helped to add on to the song as well.

On the last day of the Seurat lesson, I had the lyrics the students produced typed out neatly and we performed and recorded our song on my iPhone. I added a drum track and a piano lick using a few handy-dandy iPhone apps. The final cut of our musical track is hosted on Vimeo and posted below. Do you think George Seurat would dig this song? I do. It was so pleasant to be blown away by the serendipitous creativity of a second grader's response to a new artist. I am also infinitely tickled to have technology that helped me to propel this student's bright idea to another level.


  1. The pointillism artwork the second graders created was fantastic. What blew me away was listening to the lyrics they wrote! We have some awesome second grade students!!

  2. Love, Loved the song! Awesome Second Graders!