For me, creativity and music are inseparable. I love nothing more than shutting myself away with a creative project and some good tunes! Music is inspirational and it can alter the way you see the world. In this way, it is a fantastic tool to encourage self-expression in children.
Drawing to music is such a fun activity that you will find yourself wanting to join in too. What better way to get rid of life’s stresses than going crazy with a crayon to your favourite piece of music? I have found that the bigger the paper you can get hold of the better. Big rolls of newsprint are ideal if you can hold of them. Otherwise, just a big sheet is fine. For little children, chunky crayons are best as they are easiest to hold. Slightly older children my want to try a range of pencils or even paint and brushes (you might want to wait for warmer weather and do this in the garden!).
As you listen, encourage the children to make marks in time to the music. Show them how you would do this but explain that it is up to them to respond in their own way. Explain that different types of marks can represent different sounds (dots, zig-zags, thick lines, fine lines, circles, spirals, scribbles etc). Discuss the music as you do this and help them to differentiate between high and low sounds, fast and slow rhythms. Ask them how the music makes them feel. Is it happy, sad, exciting, scary? How can they show this? Maybe they might like to choose colours that represent the mood.
This is an excellent way to help develop your child’s motor control. If the paper is big enough, encourage large sweeping movements as well as smaller ones so that their shoulders and upper arms are really getting a work out. Stress that the idea is not for them to draw ‘a thing’ or ‘a picture’ but to make marks that represent the music. Some older children will find this tricky as they are already programmed to draw representationally. Explain there is no right or wrong…the sole aim is to have fun and see what you make. Draw alongside them at first to build their confidence and then draw back-to-back. It will be fun to compare what you have done when the music finishes. You can discuss the similarities and differences – this is also a fab language development opportunity.
I hope you give this a try. It really is great fun. I’d love to see some of the results! You can share them to our facebook page . Don’t forget to tell us what music you were listening to!