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Responding to Music

Move to the music and talk about the feelings it creates.


  • camera
  • a variety of recorded instrumental music: quiet and soothing, slow and sad, dramatic and emotional, high-energy dance music, circus music, etc.
  • paint or markers; strips of mural paper

Key Science Concepts

  • Sounds vary in volume (loud or soft), pitch (high or low), and rhythm (fast or slow).


Use descriptive words such as fast, slow, loud, soft, quiet, as well as words that convey feeling about the music, such as excited, sleepy, happy, sad, and wild.


  1. Play one piece of music and invite children to join you in moving their arms or their bodies to the beat. Ask: How does the music make you feel? Does it make you want to move fast or slow? Does it make you feel excited or sleepy? Silly or serious? Happy or sad?
  2. Invite children to draw or paint, letting their arms “dance” to the sound of the music. Ask: What colors do you think we should use to paint this (soft, sleepy) music? Provide strips of mural paper for group pictures.

Reflect and Share

Display pictures children have created in response to two contrasting pieces of music. Play excerpts from the two pieces of music and ask: How are these two pieces of music different? Have children try to identify the artwork that goes with each piece of music. Ask: What makes you think that this music and this art go together? Add any new discoveries to the “Music and Feelings” chart.