Integrated Arts Lessons

Here is an example of an integrated arts lesson that occured at NES.

Pictures at an Exhibition Project

Music informing visual and poetic response


All fourth graders at NES participated in a series of lessons based on Pictures at an Exhibition, by the Russian composer, Modest P. Mussorgsky. Initially, and prior to knowing anything about the piece, students created visual images in response to the music.

Then, and still without knowledge of the piece, each student listened again and wrote descriptive words and phrases inspired by the music. Only after forming their own thoughts, were classes told of the images the composer might be trying to paint. At this time, prints of art in various media representing each movement of music were also shared.

Next, each child chose one movement of the larger piece which “spoke” to him/ her, listened to it again and began to expand his/her list of words. Each person used those to begin forming a poem expressing personal connection to the musical work. Notice both the variety of responses as well as poetic forms.

Finally, before attending a live performance of Pictures at an Exhibition by the RI Philharmonic Orchestra, all fourth graders had the opportunity to visit our exhibit, noticing others’ work while listening one more time. Each class reflected together on the process.

  Examples of Student Poems

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