Children are painting in earnest, working on their own masterpieces, preparing for our annual Art Show. We have studied Van Gogh, Picasso, Kandinsky, Monet and Matisse. The range of art is as diverse as the interests of the children. That’s just how it should be, as there is something for everyone to like. Do you know how excited the children were to see Starry Night (our classroom poster) in an art book? Haystack, Gladiolas, Large Blue Horses, and Monet’s Garden are the popular works of art. Interestingly, while the art is inspiring, most of the children want to paint their own thing.
Today we introduced music to inspire art. I brought in my old record player and some record albums. First I placed the player on the floor and asked, “What is that?” Most children thought it was a suitcase. Then I opened the top like it was a treasure chest (well… it is) and began to touch the turntable (it moved in a circle!) and the arm.
At this point you could have heard a pin drop.
I turned on the power button and rubbed my finger on the needle. Every child had saucer eyes. Next, I pulled out a record album. “This is music. It looks like a giant CD. Watch what happens when I put it on the record player.”
I put on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. After children’s shock of hearing music floating in the room, I said “Listen carefully. What instrument is that?” Yes, a violin. We listened a while longer. Oh, it was lovely.
“Guess what happens when you listen to music? It goes into your ears. Then it goes to your heart, and it shoots out your fingers- like fireworks- so you can paint a masterpiece.”
Yes, I was dramatic as I explained the music going into the ears and eventually out the fingers. My fingers were fireworks.
Children wanted to hear some of my other records. I played Meet the Beatles, and I can attest to the fact that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” is still as popular as it ever was. Boy, did the children dance! I also played a Supremes album, which they enjoyed.
Now we had music to inspire our art… but which music? Children picked their favorites and we took a tally vote.
Vivaldi won! Children listened to the beautiful music and painted. They chose wisely.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the wind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” ~Plato~