Music for kids to paint to
October 4, 2013 2:17 PM   Subscribe

I need to choose excerpts from different types of songs for children to paint to. They need to be different in tone, tempo and mood. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, but instrumental is probably best. The idea is that the children will have a paper divided into parts and as each song excerpt plays they can paint with colors and strokes that reflect the mood of the piece.

Please tell me the name of the song, the artist and the general mood you think it has.
If there is a particular part of the song that you think is great, let me know where in the song it is.

The songs need to be available in iTunes.

I was thinking of dividing the paper in quarters and playing 4 excerpts, but if the 2 songs were really distinct from each other, maybe that would do.

I haven't done this activity before-how long do you think each excerpt should be? This is a workshop type event where people can come and go, not a classroom. I don't want to keep people too long, but I want to give the kids enough time with the project.
posted by Biblio to Education (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Pirates of the Caribbean theme versus Saint Saens' Swan?
posted by runincircles at 2:20 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Vivaldi the four seasons would be perfect for this
posted by fermezporte at 2:27 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Magic Flute, Rhapsody In Blue, and the Pastoral Symphony are marvelous for this.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 2:40 PM on October 4, 2013

Lullatone has charming, happy, modern instrumental music... I love LOVE it. The song titles suggest they did a similar thing to your project. 'Everyday Adventures' has songs like 'Finding a leaf in your girlfriend's hair'

sounds like fun, good luck!
posted by jrobin276 at 2:49 PM on October 4, 2013

Best answer: It seems like "The Planets" is made for this.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:54 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

I would suggest comparing completely different genres... like LCD Soundsystem vs Vivaldi vs Enya vs Taiko drummers.
posted by kdern at 3:11 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh man, I did this with my scout troop awhile ago but the playlist seems to be gone.

Pieces I do remember using:
Savatage's "Prelude to Madness"
Gershwin's "American in Paris"
Black Sabbath's "Fluff"
and a Copland allegretto dance segment from either "Tender Land" or "Appalachian Spring".
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:14 PM on October 4, 2013

How old are the kids?

Give them a song or two they recognize. They'll be amused to hear their 'fun' music in that environment and will get them thinking about how music makes them feel.
posted by barnone at 3:44 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also showed up to recommend the planets.

also, one thing my music teacher used to do was record all the opening (instrumental) theme songs from tv shows. [she would either make it into a game where we had to 'name that song', or else it would be an exercise like you're talking about. i remember it being super fun because it was like tv, but at the same time, i understand now that it made us actually recognize these openings as music, and thus recognize everyday 'stimuli' as music.]
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:17 PM on October 4, 2013

Raymond Scott, not sure of iTunes availability.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:34 PM on October 4, 2013

These are instrumentals or mostly instrumentals.

Name: Sparkle Up
Artist: The High Llamas
Mood: Summer day in the country.
Favorite parts: The drippy sounds at around 1:35 and 2:45.

Name: Whale and Wasp
Artist: Alice In Chains
Mood: Ethereal.
Favorite parts: 1:20 when the song seems to wrap back inside itself, 2:12 when it uncoils.

Name: Contusion
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Mood: Busy. Jumpy. Accomplished.
Favorite parts: 2:15 when there are some vocalizations that cheer on the music. 3:00 & 3:20 when the music tumbles down the canvas.

Name: All That You Are (Instrumental)
Artist: Foreign Exchange
Mood: Mellow, but with bass.
Favorite parts: You get a repeating Understanding....Motivation....Loyalty and a heavenly chorus.

Name: Colouring of Pigeons
Artist: The Knife
Mood: Marching to meet alien civilizations.
Favorite parts: The opening vocal bounces before the lyrics start at 3 minutes in.

Name: Moses vs the Monsters
Artist: Basement Jaxx
Mood: Epic.
Favorite parts: The buildup.

Name: Mo Better Blues
Artist: Branford Marsalis
Mood: Melancholy

Name: Maui Live Piano Session
Artist: Imogen Heap
Mood: Contemplative.
Favorite parts: Imogen Heap playing the piano for 10 minutes.
posted by cashman at 8:40 PM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Jessica by the Allman Brothers

Copeland was my other rec.
posted by chiefthe at 1:52 AM on October 5, 2013

There's a series called Rock A Bye Baby with (good) instrumental covers of Radiohead, Nirvana, etc. I play them for my first grade class. The moods tend to be reflective I guess.
posted by mermily at 6:23 AM on October 5, 2013

Response by poster: These are all such great ideas! I think I am going to pick a few just for the activity I described and then make a cool playlist for the stations where the other activities are. One of the other activities is making finger puppets and I bet some of these pieces would inspire some interesting characters!
posted by Biblio at 11:08 AM on October 5, 2013

One of my favorite short mood pieces is The Aquarium from Carnival of the Animals by Saint Saens.

(Apologies for the ad in front. In seems to be getting harder and harder to find YouTube clips without ads anymore.)

Please tell me the ... general mood you think it has.

For me, the first words that come to mind are: magical, mystical, eerie.

There are many versions available on iTunes. The Barry Wordsworth and London Symphony Orchestra version seems the most popular. But, I think they play it much too quickly. I prefer the Charles Dutoit and London Sinfonietta version.
posted by marsha56 at 3:26 PM on October 5, 2013

Coming in late, but Charles Mingus's Moanin' seems made for one quadrant of this (but might get messy)
posted by Mchelly at 7:02 AM on October 6, 2013

Response by poster: I ended up using 4 songs, so the kids could do 2 sets of 2. I paired the Swan with Holst's Mars and Copland's Variation on a Shaker Melody with Goodman's Sing, Sing, Sing. Here is a picture of the Swan and Mars done by a 6th grader.
posted by Biblio at 1:01 PM on October 6, 2013

« Older Creative uses for old cut stones (blank tombstones...   |   We have termites on our property what do we do? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.