Saturday, May 4, 2013

Musicians In Motion - 5th Grade

In honor of Spring concert season, I wanted to find a way to support and celebrate the hard work that students are doing in their music classes at my school. I bookmarked this lesson after I spied it on the  Art with Mr. Hall blog and was reminded of it when I was recently perusing "The Music of Painting," an amazing book I happened upon at a used book store.  The book provides a fascinating overview of the links between modern art and music and got me thinking a lot about how easily these disciplines hold hands.

To demonstrate the long history of artists finding inspiration from musicians, I shared the following works with my kiddos:

Charlie Bird Parker, Jean-Michel Basquiat

Philip Glass, Chuck Close

Three Musicians, Pablo Picasso

Michael Jackson, Andy Warhol

I played a short clip of each artists music and asked the kids to relate the sounds they heard to the visual information that each portraits contained. Watching the kids listening to music was a hoot and it really worked to activate their interest. We spent an entire class observing and sketching musicians from contemporary music magazines I borrowed from the music teacher. When choosing our final composition layout I emphasized cropping, simplicity, and block coloration. We added rich color to our compositions using oil pastels.


  1. I love the idea of blending multiple art forms into one project. Great work!

  2. Hi Sunnylee

    What a fabulous lesson plan. I love your students composition, shapes and bold colors. I need to check out Mr. Hall's blog as well. Pinning!