Activity cards


Drawing to music

An imaginative and expressive drawing and painting activity using themed or easily recognisable styles of music with a strong lively beat, maybe reminiscent of far-flung places. Listen to your chosen music and talk together about what it makes you think of, such as people, places, colours and climate, continue to listen, and start mark making together, introducing colour as you go!

Cuban, Latin, Jazz, Classical and Brass music all works well.

Themes: Holidays/journeys/films/adventures

Materials Required:

  • Music source 
  • Cartridge paper – one piece per person
  • Soft dark pencils – 4b to 8b work well as they make strong marks easily 
  • Watercolour pencils – for their lovely strong vivid colours

Step by Step Guide:

  1. Talk to your residents about different types and styles of music from around the world and through the decades, talk about what shapes and colours the sounds might make you think of.
  2. Choose which music to use and hand out the paper and pencils.
  3. Start the music and talk about it whilst you listen – maybe try creating a new drawing for each different music style.
  4. Talk about the shape of the sound – what colour or shape is it? Could the rhythm be a pattern?
  5. Make marks on the page, freely and in time to the music. 
  6. Pause to look at the images, shapes and patterns you have created. Ask someone from outside the session to see if they can guess what kind of music you were drawing to!

Ideas for Further Activities With This Idea:

Use water and brushes to play with the colour of the watercolour pencils and bring them to life, seeing how they blend like paint!

You could also use the images created as collage papers for creating scenes, collage cards, or gift tags.


Ways to adapt for less able residents:

Residents with loss of hearing may want to sit closest to the speaker to feel the vibration of the rhythm of the music. Similarly food smells associated with different parts of the world could be used in a similar way to the music, to stimulate the senses, inspiring shapes and colours. Alternatively using videos of dancing associated with different cultures could also be used to inspire different use of colours and shapes. 

Using paint instead of pencils can give greater freedom of expression, using larger sheets of paper.

Ways to adapt from group to individual and vice versa: 

Using a long roll of paper this could become a group activity, or cutting out individual images from each sheet to make a larger shared scene could be really interesting!

Follow us