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Draw What You Hear!

If you’ve suddenly found yourself at home with your kids and need some non-screentime activities to fill your days, we love this simple “draw what you hear” lesson plan from guest contributor Bethany from Seattle. This exercise exists in a variety of similar forms from music, theatre, art instructors from all over. This is just one way to do it — adapt it to suit your needs. Now, turn up the tunes and enjoy!

1. Gather Materials

  • Speakers or play the music on your phone
  • Music! from your own collection, search on Youtube, or we put together a Spotify playlist for you
  • Paper, pencil, coloring materials — you can use anything to create with and on
  • Use paper plates and paint. Do this in your driveway with chalk. Who cares?! This is supposed to be fun!

2. Sit in a comfortable position, preferably upright with your eyes closed

3. Listen to a section of the song

I opted not to tell my home-bound kids the names of the pieces of music until after they shared their work as to not affect the outcome. Here’s the Spotify playlist we put together to get you started!

4. Questions you could ask while listening…

  • How does this music make you feel?
  • What pictures come to your mind?
  • What colors do you think about when you listen to this song?
  • What kind of landscape, shapes, character, food does this song remind you of?

5. Let them create a piece of art inspired by their answers and share with each other.

Here’s what my niece and nephew came up with — a rainstorm inspired by Adagio for Strings (Adi, age 9), and an evil baby inspired by Dance of the Hours (Des, age 9).

6. Share with us!

Email your creations to info@denverphilharmonic.org or tag us on social media @denverphilorch.

Headshot Image for Bethany



Bethany is a theatre artist, nightlife performer, arts educator, and is currently homeschooling her 9-year-old niece and nephew while their parents work in healthcare and healthcare manufacturing. She is also…

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