Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Musings on the Creator in Me

Classically Creative

The theme this week at HSB Front Porch is classical music because the birthdays of both Mozart and Franz Schubert fall at the end of January. I've always loved listening to classical music -- at home or in the car -- but not sitting in concerts, generally speaking. (They tend to make me sleepy, and then I doze off, and that's embarrassing!) I don't have a lot to say about it -- but at the end of this post I'll tell you a bit about what DD8 and I did in response to some of her insights about music and creativity.

But first -- my beloved is a former music teacher, so I asked for his input regarding teaching classical music. He reminded me of some good resources that we've come across over the years . . . The Classical Kids Series has some wonderful story CDs that teach about different composers, including Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Mozart's Magnificent Voyage, and Mr. Bach Comes to Call. Then there are Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concert, in which he and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra bring classical music to life for youth, and Peter Ustinov's Peter and the Wolf, which highlights the different instruments in the orchestra in a child-friendly way. DH also pointed out that it is fun to explore how cartoons and movies employ classical music ("Figaro" and "William Tell Overture" in cartoons, for example, and "Barber's Adagio for Strings" in the movie Platoon) in their sound tracks.

Being a fan of cross-curricular studies, DH also suggests that it's fascinating to compare forms of music in their relative time period to the art, architecture, dance forms, and literature of the same period. For example, in the "Classical Period," all of these facets of the arts were very calculated and structured. Comparison and contrast also prove fruitful in examining two or more periods side-by-side to show the similarities and differences (classical and contemporary, for example). As he pointed out, such a comparison begs the question, "Does society influence the arts, or do the arts influence society?"

Bringing it down to a more personal level, a while ago, DD8 said she thought we should bring the CD player into our art studio "because every colour has a sound." That struck me as a rather profound concept -- so, contemplating this post, I decided to explore it with her and some classical music. DD8 and DS4 selected six or seven colours, and the three of us set to work responding to the music with our paint brushes. As I cranked Handel's Messiah, DD8 advised me: "Every colour has a sound. You just have to pay attention and you can mix them all together into a beautiful picture. You just have to pay attention."

 As she painted, DD8 exclaimed, "Oh, Mommy -- I feel so FREE right now! I just feel so FREE!"

 Here is DS4's "Slide" (Can you see a slide on the left?:) :

And DD8's masterpieces:

While colours had the associations for DD8, for me, every sound had a stroke. All those bronze strokes below, for example, are hallelujahs ;)

When we were finished, DD8 looked at my painting and exclaimed, "Oh, Mommy -- you were really paying attention to the music!" How sweet is she?!?!?! (Sadly, she then switched into, "Yours is much better than mine . . ." Oh, the curse of comparison!)

On another note (ha!) -- It just so "happened" that DH was watching this video when I walked into his office thinking about this post . . .

It moves us away from an association of sound and colour, and our discussion of classical music -- but isn't it a wonderful example of how we can respond creatively to music?

Are there any ways that you especially enjoy responding to music -- whether it's classical or otherwise? Try it! Perhaps you, too, will feel so free!


  1. Such wisdom here - "Every color has a sound!"

    Love it...

  2. I never much thought about it before....every color has a sound. But I guess when I really think....some sounds make me think black, dark others are bright and cheery. Your daughter is very insightful. I'll think a little differently about music now.....hmmm, what can we do today to use this :)

    I've awarded you with the Stylish Blogger Award. Head over to my blog and check it out and grab your award while you are there.

  3. Wow! Thanks, Vickie :)

    Julie -- I love it, too. It just sounds so profound :)

    Thank you both for stopping by and commenting!


Sincere responses . . .

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