Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Listen, Draw, Move

The third lesson of the week is from Lauren Warnecke of Art Intercepts! Thanks Lauren for sharing this creative lesson!

Lauren says she has tried this lesson on ages 3- adult and has had success!

This lesson plan is a great way to develop sensitivity for musicality and characteristics in movement and music such as accent and tempo. First I have the kids lay in a circle with their heads into the circle. I turn off the lights and play them a piece of music that has a specific quality I want them to grasp. They practice active listening with their eyes closed. While they are listening, I set out a big piece of butcher paper and colored markers or crayons. We then open our eyes and listen to the music again—this time I ask them to “draw what the music looks like” paying attention to what colors they use, what their lines look like (strong and jagged or soft and curved), and taking into account that all of the dancers are making a collaborative piece of art. Once the music ends I hang their art as a back drop and play the song one more time and this time they get to free dance to the music trying to incorporate the qualities we listened to and drew in our artwork.

For contrast, I’ll repeat the entire activity with a totally different song that exhibits opposite qualities from the one we just did. This lesson takes about 30 minutes to complete and is always really fun!

(photo via Menomonee Club)


  1. That's so awesome! I love the idea that they have so many options and get to dance in the end. Great lesson!

  2. Wow! This is such a creative and clever activity. I may try it out with my nephew once he's a bit older! :)

  3. Thanks! I love the artwork that this exercise produces. I used this activity once in a summer performing arts camp and at the end of the day we had "showcase" with all of the kids (they were in rotating classes). We had the other kids guess which piece of artwork belonged with which song and they got it!

  4. That's awesome! I can't wait to try it out on my own groups! Thanks so much for sharing Lauren!

  5. We did this at a NYC PD once with adult Dance Educators. We then created group choreography based on ideas we had in our drawings. It was live music played by drummers that I believe had also been part of a link with Lar Lubovitch for that PD.

  6. awesome! :) I bet that was really fun!