Welcome to the Fun with Music series that I am doing in collaboration with play expert, Angelique Felix at angeliquefelix.com.
Read the first week's Fun with Music post that introduces the series plus highlights a lot of music ideas for you and your family.
Read the second week's Fun with Music post that was all about Singing and Song Writing with Your Children.
Today's theme is Playing with Classical Music and Art.
This activity will get you and your child to really listen to the music.
Step 1: Listen to Stars and Stripes Forever by John Phillip Sousa. John Phillip Sousa is known for his American patriotic music. Stars and Stripes Forever is known as a parade march. When you listen do not tell your children anything about the song and do not let them see a picture representing the song. Just listen! We listened to this version of Stars and Stripes Forever on YouTube.
Step 2: Ask your child what pictures come to mind while listening to this song. Do you think of a story? Do you see different colors? Is it a happy song? Is it dark and gloomy?
When I asked my daughter what she thought of the Stars and Stripes Forever, she said "parade" so I bet she recognized it from somewhere. But then I asked her what colors it made her think of and she did not say red, white and blue. She said red and yellow!
Step 3: Get out the art supplies. The supplies can be simple paper and crayons or you can get elaborate with watercolors or paints. Then while you play the song again ask your child to draw the story and emotions of the song.
My daughter did a wonderful picture of a parade. She drew about 11 men who looked like they were a part of a marching band except they didn’t have any instruments. Their hats were red and yellow like she said but she did add blue pants. So it is almost a patriotic picture with red and blue with a splash of yellow on their hats!
|Painting with watercolors while listening to Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor|
Bach wrote this piece for the church but we often associate it with something dark and scary. But don't tell your children that! While you listen ask them what they think when listening to this piece.
Is it happy or sad?
What colors does it make them think of?
Is there a story going on in the minds?
For this song, we got out the watercolors to make our pictures. This time my girls thought the song made them think of a dark forest. So they drew trees, a bear and a waterfall.
Composers write music to convey feelings and emotions. Take the time to really listen to music and you will find the ups and downs in the music and the story the composer is trying to tell you.
Children learn best when they are having fun! Teach them to listen carefully to music by having them draw or paint a picture while listening to a piece of classical music.
Visit the other Fun with Music articles!