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~
Thank you, Norah! 🙂
Such a terrific process of discovery! And I love to see the final tally — Vivaldi by a nose…
I wish you had been there, Will. The feeling was electric. Music always does that, doesn’t it? I was pleasantly surprised that Vivaldi won.
Well done, Jennie. I’m glad that the majority selected Vivaldi for the musical art. Nothing against pop music, but classical music is meant to paint a picture because the composer is sharing feelings about something.
I’m glad they did, too! It goes hand in hand with art as they both paint a picture. Thank you, Frank.
The kids choosing something Classical was a surpise to me, but a very good one. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
I was surprised, too. It was wonderful! Best to you, Pete.
Kids are the smarties why some teachers want them to be quiet and listen. Listening is good but children don’t enough talking playing painting time.
That brought forth a tear or two…You are such a wise teacher, Jennie. ‘ Im indoors and I listen to Classic FM a lot and I often type while listening. as It can be inspiring for sure. Upwards and onwards. Hugs xx
Thank you, Joy. I often listen to classical music when driving. I’m glad the children were inspired. It was quite a day!
This is wonderful, Jennie! 😍
Thank you, Ritu! 🥰
Great stuff Jennie!
Thank you, FR!
I love this so much, Jennie! Music is a teacher like you. It touches places that are untouchable in our souls! Vivaldi winning was too cute! 🎶🎶🎶♥️🤗
Thank you, K.L. Music can work magic. I’m glad Vivaldi won!
You’re welcome! ♥️🤗
Yes we need more for real teachers like this.
Those clever budding artists loving Vivaldi. ❤ Jennie you nurture and bring out such creativity. What a conductor you are!
Aww..that’s so nice. Thank you!
That’s one of my favorite classic pieces too! I should take a page from your book and play it while I’m trying to draw and paint…maybe my creative juices will start flowing too!
I love that you still have a turn table and LP’s!! How wonderful that children were introduced to music that way.
Who knew old technology could be so exciting! The record player and albums really had the children focused. Deborah, I truly believe that music will inspire your painting. 😀
Wonderful, Jennie. I understand that record players are making a comeback. Our local classical station is on all day and I ask my wife the same question, “what instrument is that?” French horn is a fav. By the way, , is the ‘van Gogh Experience’ in your area, yet?
I didn’t know they were making a comeback! I enjoy classical music when driving in the car. The van Gogh exhibit is in Boston, but I think it is too stimulating. That’s just me. Thank you, Steve.
Based on my son’s comments, I think I agree. Not cheap, either.
The Four Seasons is a favorite of mine as well. Th children have good taste.
They do! I was pleasantly surprised at their choice.
My first music listening education came in grade school with “Peter and The Wolf.” Before that I had no idea of how each instrument sounded. Reading this brought back the whole bewildering experience as my brain tried to learn a new skill.
That was also my first serious listening to classical music and making a connection with the sounds of the instruments. I think every elementary school should introduce children to Peter and the Wolf. Thanks for reading and commenting, Elizabeth. Do you still have a record player and albums? Your granddaughter would love it!
Because turntables have become in again, I do. I will have to seek it out. My grandchildren are both very musical since both of their parents are.
Wonderful! Keep me posted.
What a delightful experience for them. I just can’t believe you can sit on the floor like that to teach! 🙂
Haha! You should see me get down and get back up off the floor!! It was really wonderful, Marlene. I think I had as much fun as the children. 😀
Both those mediums feed the soul. That looked like my first record player.
Yes, they both do! I’m glad you recognized the record player.
Such music connoisseurs, Jennie. Proves that the Beatles are an acquired taste.
Haha!! As much as I love Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, I voted for the Beatles. I know…
I know also. You voted for the ‘cute’ one playing bass.
Of course! 🙂
what a beautiful, beautiful lesson/experience for all
Beth, I thought about you as this would be something right up your ‘kinder alley’. Do you have an old record player and albums? I take forever as I go through ‘discovering’ every part along with the children. STEM at its most fun.
No but I definitely plan to get one. It speaks to everything I love!
Yes, it really does. You will be in your element, along with the children. ❤️
How wonderful that the children were exposed to a variety of great music. And on a record player no less. A close score but Vivaldi won! I can see how the music will inspire them. (I´ll let you in on a secret, Amanda visits Monet’s garden in the next book!)
OMG!!! I preordered the Amanda book yesterday, so I will be thrilled! I love exposing children to all kinds of music. Doing it on a record player makes the children truly listen. Hands on in the real sense.
Thanks for the pre-order! You will like this story about the power of music. It has been raining a lot here (quite unusual) so my dogs are unable to get outside much. They were quite antsy today and not able to settle down. I put on a Yo-yo Ma CD and they slept like little angels. It even works for dogs. I expect they may be painting pictures soon!
I love this! Yo-yo Ma is one of the greats. Gee, the dogs really might be painting pictures. 🙂
This reminds me of the wonderful clip of Mister Rogers and Yo-yo Ma. I must find that again.
Great lesson. I love that you let them choose.
Thanks, Dan. Who knew they would choose Vivaldi!
These kids are amazing.
Yes they are!
I think this is just amazing, Jennie. I listen to classic music when I work.
It is inspiring, and much more. Thank goodness my students like it! Best to you, Robbie.
what a wonderful lesson that incorporated such a variety of subjects – music, art, math, technology, history. And I would have picked Vivaldi as well…
Thank you, Jim. It was a great day of teaching. I was surprised and glad they picked Vivaldi. They picked him today, too! I love that old record player and my albums.
Nothing like going old school!
Jim, I just found out that one of my former preschoolers will be attending Villanova in the fall! I hope she gets your class. I will tell her about you (all the good stuff 🙂 ). Yahoo, and congratulations, Halle Roberts!
that is great news; please tell her to look me up when she arrives on campus!
I will!! Do you teach freshmen?
I do teach freshmen, in the business school. So if Halle is a business student, there is a chance she will be in my class!
Hooray! I will find out.
She is a biology major but might minor in business. I’ll pass your name on!
thanks for letting me know. we also have a Summer Business Institue where non-business students can get a business minor in one summer…
either way, she is more than welcome to stop by and introduce herself!
That’s so nice, Jim!
This is such an uplifting and inspiring post. I feel the need to creat something!!
I’m so glad! Thank you, Liz.
You’re welcome, Jennie.
I love The Four Seasons. Of course, Vivaldi one. Lol. What a fun day your kids had. That must have been marvelous.
It was one of the great days of teaching! Thank you, Diana.
How nice that they appreciate all the different types of music you’re introducing to them, Jennie.
They really do, Pete. That makes it such fun for everyone. While I love Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, secretly I was hoping the Beatles would win.🙂
I love this! I think music is so inclusive, bonding and transformative! I am such a huge fan of introducing all sorts of music to Charlotte. I think it’s so magical… you never lack companion when you are with good music, you always have the ability to reflect on what you’re listening to (even with a 3yo toddler mind, I can see her absorbing the music she listens to and feels it in her bones) and I think it brings absolute joy! 🙂 I love it!
Hear, hear! Beautifully said, Jen. I couldn’t have said it better. Interestingly, I don’t play children’s songs in school. I sing them when I play the autoharp, but that’s it. Their favorite song at the moment is “Wagon Wheel”. If a child is feeling sad, I ask, “Do you want me to rock you mama?” Of course they say yes, and I rock them and sing to them while the song is playing. The rest of the class sings and loves it. We’re reading aloud the Little House books, so they know the instrument is the fiddle, the same as Pa’s. That’s just the tip of the iceberg on the power of music, all kinds of music. And you know that! Best to you, Jen.
What a fabulous lesson, Jennie. And how lucky the children are to have such an inspirational teacher:)).
Thank you, Sarah!
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Thank you, Michael!
🙏 Always with a great pleasure, Jennie! xx
You are such a gem, Jennie! You are teaching them more, than i ever had been tought in higher classes. xx Michael
That is so kind, Michael. Thank you!
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I love this! I can imagine their faces seeing a record player. I wonder if they know we used to have phones hanging off a wall, lol. ❤
They love it!! I must bring in my old rotary dial phone…😀
Oh my I would have loved to be in that room and you reminded me of a 1st grade class. They requested writing music and I put on classical. It made me smile when I hear the kids say of that my favorite. What a great idea!
I absolutely live this! What an inspiring teacher you are!
I used to love playing music in my classroom when my students were doing art. Vivaldi is one of my favourites.
I’m so glad to know you did that. It makes a big difference. Yes, Vivaldi is a favorite!
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