Drawing to Music
by Tatiana Florival, Lizzie Powers, and Hisami Aoki
Encourage your students to explore the elements of art and music by illustrating their own visual interpretations of Duke Ellington’s songs in this fun downloadable classroom activity.
“I hear a note by one of the fellows in the band and it’s one color. I hear the same note played by someone else and it’s a different color. When I hear sustained musical tones, I see just about the same colors that you do, but I see them in textures. If Harry Carney is playing, D is dark blue burlap. If Johnny Hodges is playing, G becomes light blue satin.” —Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington, the Piano Prince, often talked about being able to literally see sound or music as color. It’s a condition known as “synesthesia,” and many legendary creatives are said to experience it!
In this engaging “drawing to music” activity, students will listen to Duke’s music and pay special attention to its elements: pitch, timbre, texture, volume, duration, and form. Then they can create their own visual interpretations using the seven elements of art: line, color, space, shape, value, texture, and form.
Download the free printable worksheet here:
And download the free printable teacher’s activity guide here:
How did your students’ illustrations turn out? We’d love to hear from you! Please share your students’ images with us on social media using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs