Musical mark-making by Polly Ives

Suitable for:0 to 5

You might think listening to music is only about using your ears. But what if your favourite piece of music could inspire your latest artistic creation?

We all love listening to music, why not express how it makes us feel with colour, shape and texture?

What to do

Choose a piece of recorded music and, whilst listening, you and your child can create shapes and patterns responding to the different sounds. (Some examples: Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky Korsakov. Britten’s Sea Interludes: Storm. Kate Rusby’s Underneath the Stars. Happy by Pharrell Williams).

Or you could experiment creating vocal sounds. See what shapes or patterns you make if you make high/ low voice sounds or if you make short and snappy sounds. See this example

You (or older children) could draw smiley faces if the music makes you feel happy or sad or angry faces for other styles.

Experiment with different coloured pens - does a particular colour feel happy or sad? Think about different sounds for a chunky crayon compared to a thin pencil.

Discuss, and perhaps write down, any words to describe your music or drawings.

You could even print some blank manuscript paper from the internet and ‘compose’ your own music. If you know anyone who plays a musical instrument, could they improvise a tune inspired by your child’s drawings?



You can’t do it ‘wrong’! Whether you create a page covered in dots and lines or an elaborate piece of art, we are all enjoying being creative and trying new things!

This #homeadventure was written by Polly Ives, @Concerteenieswithpollyives 


Paper, coloured pencils/ pens and any music from the radio or online. To develop, you could also print manuscript paper from the internet.

Concerteenies with Polly Ives is on Youtube! On this channel you will find Home Concerts (online concerts from professional musicians' homes, straight to yours), Home Activities (designed to entertain you and your little ones through lockdown and beyond) and lots of videos of other work Polly has done with different musical organisations.