Creative Writing through Music
Creative Writing: Writing through Music (Fantasia)
Introduction: This lesson is designed to incorporate music, art, and writing into one comprehensive activity that focuses a child's creative process. It is a several step process that begins very simple and builds to much more complicated. Lower elementary children may only be able to do the first few steps, whereas mid-upper elementary children may be inclined to do the whole process. This lesson is also easily adaptable for different ages of children due to the nature of choice in music.
Age: Adaptable for all ages.
- Drawing paper
- Pencil (plain or colored)
- Gather a small group of children.
- Tell children you are going to play some music for them.
- Depending on students’ age, you may want to choose different types of music. It can range from very simple, such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, to more complicated, such as Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt. Play a short selection of the music.
- Ask students, how does the music make them feel? Encourage students to ask each other this question as well.
- Ask students to take out a pencil and piece of paper. Tell them, this time, I’m going to play the music again, and I want you to draw what you feel on the paper.
- Play a selection of the music again, a bit longer than the previous, but not the entire piece (anything more than 1-2 minutes is probably too long).
- Invite children to explain what they felt and how they expressed that on paper. Have students label the music selection’s title, composer, and their name on their paper, then put it away.
- Tell students you will do this again at a later time (perhaps next week).
- Invite the same small group of students.
- Remind them of what they did last week. Tell them today we are going to do something similar, but we will listen to a different piece of music.
- Play a different selection of music. This selection should be more geared towards story writing instead of emotions- choose something appropriate for students age and developmental level.
- After playing the music, ask students how they felt about the music. Could they imagine a story to go along with it? What/Who would it be about? What happens? How does it end?
- Ask students to take a pencil and piece of paper. While they listen to the selection again, ask students to take notes on what ideas they have for a story based on the music. (This can also be done as a babbling activity between partners).
- Tell students where they can find the CD to listen to the song again anytime they want. Tell them they should create their own story about what the music is about, including a drawing or two.
Follow-Up: Students can watch Fantasia (the original or 2000) as a group and discuss how they think the creators of the movie came up with those ideas for the music, how they compared to their own ideas of how the music should “look”, etc.
(Please email me if there are any questions- I am only a Montessori trainee and created this lesson as a part of my training process. If anyone tries this or has done something similar, please let me know how it goes! My email address is lisaruas(at)yahoo(dot)com).