Alternate Activity 3: Drawing to Music

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Blank paper and crayons, markers or pastels
  • Music without lyrics (classical, jazz, world music instrumental, etc.) and appropriate music player (Note: Choose music you feel evokes mystery and wonder.)

Preparation for Activity

  • Set out art supplies so that children each have a sheet of paper on a writing surface and can reach crayons/markers on their own.

Description of Activity

One of the Sources for our Unitarian Universalist living tradition is transcending mystery and wonder that moves us to a renewal of the spirit. Mystery, wonder, and spirit are hard to define, and they may mean something a bit different to each person. Sometimes through art we can experience and express ideas we cannot express in words.

Tell the children:

We are going to hear some music. Listen with your spirit, as well as your ears. You can draw about how the music makes your spirit feel. Draw whatever comes to you to describe mystery and wonder. It does not need to be a picture of anything real; it can be a pattern or design or just the colors you feel like using. Let the music be the only sound we hear while we draw. Let the music speak to your spirit and your heart.

Assure them there is no right or wrong way to portray mystery and wonder, and affirm that they need not draw pictures of actual things in order to show a feeling or idea.

Allow the group at least three minutes to draw. Then, stop the music and invite them to continue working on their drawings in quiet for a minute or two more.

Ask volunteers to share their drawings and/or articulate what their spirits heard in the music or what feelings inside of them the images came from. Affirm all drawings as expressions of spirit. Focus on the process ("How did it feel to draw that?") and avoid praise, criticism, or interpretation of the product. ("Is that a horse? Are those clouds?")

Ask the group, "Do you feel you gave your spirit some exercise, doing this activity today?"

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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