Don’t Forget This Important Cross-Curricular Connection!

We all know that kids don’t get enough art, but have you ever thought that they don’t get enough music, dance, or theater either? This thought is why some of my favorite interdisciplinary connections actually involve the other arts.

In fact, I had a passion for bringing music into my art room. From playing my air guitar to making up piggyback songs, I’ve done it all. I even brought in  guests who also value music and art, such as Greg Percy, to make my students excited about learning.

Here are two more simple ways to add even more music to the art room.

Don’t worry, singing is not required!

1. Diversify Your Book Collection

Branch out of the art section and consider adding books on a variety of topics, including music, to your art room. I recently picked up a copy of Welcome to the Symphony. This is a children’s book that introduces students to the instruments in the symphony in a bold and approachable way. This book would be a great introduction to one of my favorite lessons, outlined in the second tip below. In addition, the book also allows students to hear the instruments. It would be fun to collaborate with your music teacher to bring in some of the actual instruments on the first day of the lesson and leave this book out for the remaining sessions to inspire students.

2. Incorporate Music into a Lesson with Sheet Music Drawings

music collage tip 1 31 16
This lesson allows kids to practice their observational drawing skills using instruments as the subject matter. You could find vintage sheet music or make copies (with permission, of course). I was inspired by this musical collage from Deep Space Sparkle, but took it my own direction. I had students draw directly on the sheet music, outline in Sharpie, and paint with watercolor. When finished, you could mount these on construction paper or cardstock for a more polished look.

I hope this has inspired you to incorporate more of the arts, especially music, into your art room today!
Do you incorporate the other arts into your curriculum?

How do you bring music into your classroom?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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