Jazz Up Children’s Art

Children love to explore the possibilities of different art media. Once they become skilled with art materials put a new spin on their creativity by adding music. When you add music to the mix, children can interpret family traditions, different eras, cultures and their own surroundings through art.

Flexible fingerpainting
Find a radio station or play a recording with jazz, Mexican mariachis, Armenian dances, “Flight of the Bumblebee,” or other lively music. Ask your child to listen, then ask how the selection energizes them. See how your child interprets the music with art while finger-painting. For best results, use a hard tabletop or tray.

Relaxing impressions
For a change of pace, try the soothing strains of a lullaby, Native American flute, classical music (Schubert’s “The Trout” works well), some 60’s slow dances, Irish piping, or traditional Thai pieces. This music might set the mood for working with watercolors or pastels. Try different types of paper and experiment with techniques that create soft effects.

March madness
Step it up with a rousing John Philip Sousa march. Listen for the left-right-left-right beat. Walk together in time to the music. Suggest that your child pound clay, faster or slower, in the same rhythm. Some children might want to explore molding parade shapes such as drums, horses, or floats with the clay.

Sound pictures
Some music evokes pictures of scenes or objects: Strauss waltzes, “Grand Canyon Suite,” “The Swan,” and “An American in Paris” are just a few.

Encourage children to select music and media that appeal to them as they create collages, dioramas, or even try interesting movements with markers in accord with musical impressions.

A variety of types of music can inspire an artist’s imagination. Combine the two arts so your child can experience new dimensions of both.