Music Keeps Inspiring Art

Artists just… know.  So do children.  They both tell the world their passion through painting.  When music becomes part of creating art, magic happens.

“Art should make you feel, like music.”  -Wassily Kandinsky-

Kandinsky is a favorite artist with the children.  They like his colorful art, and they want to paint like him.  I read aloud the children’s book, The Noisy Paintbox: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, by Barb Rosenstock.  When Kandinsky was a boy and first painted, he heard music as the paintbrush mixed the colors of paint.  The sounds of music were there throughout his life whenever he painted.  He named his pieces of art after the music he heard and loved.  Kandinsky understood that music and art are connected.  Children do, too!

Rowan wanted to paint Starry Night.  She used finger paints, and then asked for music. We had introduced Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Handel’s Water Music.  She knew right away that it was Water Music she needed to hear.  She was right.  Her masterpiece is incredible.

Music makes the difference.  The children know my words, “When you hear the music, it goes into your ears, then into your heart, and out your fingers.”  They feel empowered and they paint with abandon.

“Color is a power that directly influences the soul.  Color is the keyboard.  The artist is the hand that plays.” -Wassily Kandinsy-

When I show children colorful art, indeed they feel, much like what Kandinsky and other artists understood.  A favorite painting is Large Blue Horses, by Franz Marc.  The bold brush strokes and the intense blues are stirring.  No wonder children want to paint that masterpiece.  Aaryan certainly did.  We were in the middle of cleaning up after snack, not the time we were painting.  But Aaryan needed to paint.  So, I set up the stand-up table for him, including a picture of Large Blue Horses.

A short while later he said, “Jennie, you forgot the music.”  Yes, I had forgotten.  Aaryan wasn’t sure what he wanted to hear, so I held up different album covers.  He chose The Supremes, perhaps because it, too, had a colorful cover.  The music certainly fit the moment, as he listened to the words in the song that said, “…love is like an itching in my heart…”  Then, Aaryan went to work in earnest.  Beautiful!

If I can fill the hearts of children with music and art, they have the foundation of goodness and also courage.  I like to think that a ‘sense of self’ is a great gift.  While they may not remember these preschool experiences, that mark has already penetrated, and will help shape who they become.

We mount and frame children’s art next week.  Children then get to name their masterpieces.  After all their hard work, each one deserves a title.  They will hang in our annual Art Show for the whole community to see and enjoy.  Stay tuned!


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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62 Responses to Music Keeps Inspiring Art

  1. Ritu says:

    This is just wonde4ful!!!

  2. Beautiful post Jennie.. And Art was always my favourite Lesson at school.. ❤

  3. Sue Ranscht says:

    As always, your students reflect your love and understanding. I hope their parents save all that beautiful art for their children to re-discover when they’re grown. I’m sure it will bring back fond memories of you, too.

  4. MC Clark says:

    Love the bold colors! I would imagine a good time was had by all. 🙂

  5. ren says:

    Oh Jennie, you are such a beautiful soul!
    Those artworks are masterpieces!!!
    Bless you for who you are and thank you for sharing!

  6. I am so impressed with these pieces of art, amazing. What a wonderful thing to do with music and painting. I haven’t seen that before with children. You are brilliant, Jennie. Just wonderful. K. D. 🙂

    • Jennie says:

      I’m humbled, Karen. Thank you so much! 😊

    • Jennie says:

      You are too kind, Karen. 😊. Many thanks. It was wonderful; the record player made the children really listen to the music, and the rest flowed. I frame the art this week and each child names their piece. Big deal! I’ll take photos.

  7. Norah says:

    This is beautiful, Jennie. What a wonderful experience. I hadn’t thought about art and music this way. What richness you bring to these children’s lives, and how lucky they are to have you.

    • Jennie says:

      It was such fun to use the record player. As you know, adding hand-on elements is important. It made a difference in how the children really listened to the music, and the rest just flowed. Thank you for your kind words!

  8. beetleypete says:

    Children inspired by music to paint is a wonderful combination of two art forms indeed. I hope that they remember to thank you for enriching their lives, when they are older.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Jennie says:

      I am lucky, as they do return and thank me. I even entered a blog post about those Connections to the Bloggers Bash. Imagine that! Best to you, Pete.

  9. Love how you plant the seeds for goodness and courage with music and art, Jennie! 😄 Did you ever try the works of the artist “Hundertwasser”? I’m sure the kids would love it too, it’s very colourful and beautiful.

  10. frenchc1955 says:

    Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
    This is another example of excellent teaching!

  11. Saurabh Calla says:

    Thank you for everything you do Jennie. Linking together music and art is such a wonderful idea and the results (kids artwork) shows that.

  12. Beautiful. They’ll probably always “see” music. What a creative gift. 🙂

  13. Ah, I believe you already have filled your students’ hearts with courage and goodness. They will never forget you, Jennie. ❤️ 💛 💚 💙 💜

  14. I hadn’t arrived here yet and saw it reblogged on Dr. French’s post. I love coming here and visiting the children as you inspire future artists. It gives me great hope for the world. You are doing important work.

  15. Nina says:

    These are truly wonderful beautiful paintings Jennie! It really showed how inspired your students were. You have a really very good method and appproach in teaching preschoolers. I believe in what you said that what they experience in preschool now will help shape who they will become. And you really are a great mentor! I say that in all honesty. You’re simply amazing! 😊💛

  16. Di says:

    Another beautiful beautiful post Jennie. May I join your class please? 💕🌸

  17. Di says:

    Hello Jennie!
    Again my comment is AWAL!
    I’ll do it in the proper window and see!!
    I could only ask ‘may I join your class please?’ I think that said it all 💐🌟

  18. Barbara says:

    Incredible artworks and the music, a master touch.

  19. Another wonderful lesson, Jennie. Their artwork is beautiful. I remember seeing you mention that you keep a hard copy of each of your blog posts (which isn’t always easy since posts can sometimes be very long; I’ve tried to get mine onto 8 1/2 x 11 a few times and it became quite time consuming to crop out the sides etc. so I stopped bothering). But thinking about all this made me realize your blog posts would make a very nice guide for new preschool teachers or even just parents and caretakers in general. Have you ever thought about getting them into manuscript form and submitting it to educational publishers? Or even just a one page proposal and a link to your blog. What a great book it would make with various chapters on art, music, play, sharing, and all the other lessons you’ve shared. That’s all you need, right, another project! 🙂

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Marcia. You just asked the million dollar question. Last summer I had the same thought, actually a lightbulb moment. Why not put the best of the posts into a book, similar to Chicken Soup For the Soul, for parents and teachers. So, with the help of a friend who worked for Harper Collins, I have sent my query letter, first to publishers, and now to lit agents. Interestingly, I NEVER feel depressed with a rejection, because the responses tell me this is good, and don’t give up. So, I won’t. Your comment is another nod. I will keep you posted. On making a hard copy of my posts (I can’t tell you how many times this has been a lifesaver), I just go to the post, scroll down to the bottom, and click on print. If it is more than one page, so be it (most are) and I just staple the pages together. I love my hard copies.

      • Wonderful, my fingers are crossed for you. Sounds like you’re getting great responses, which can be a very rare treat for many. Thanks for the printing tip, I just might try it sometime!

  20. reocochran says:

    Choosing the Supremes was such a great one to listen to, Jennie. I’m glad the children feel they can say, “hey, we need music!” Then you let Them choose! 🙂 ❤ The art show is an awesome event and seeing things with titles and names on the framed art makes it a "deluxe" occasion! Hope you have a special and meaningful Easter, dear friend. xo

  21. This blog post is nice. Reminds of my own days as a kid, without a care in the world and listening to music as much as I could. Never did become very good at art, but I did end up playing music. Still do! :D.

  22. This blog post is nice. Reminds of my own days as a kid, without a care in the world and listening to music as much as I could. Never did become very good at art, but I did end up playing music. Still do! :D.

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