Year 1:  The Relationship between Music and Art

Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, students will:

  • Have an intimate knowledge of composers and painters and great works of music and art
  • Create a portfolio of their own artworks and compose a new piece of music

Curriculum Goals

  • To teach empathy by encouraging students to feel emotions through music and art, making connections between the music/art, their own feelings and experiences, and those of their classmates
  • To teach students how to listen and observe (rather than see and hear) by narrowing their focus and pinpointing sounds and concepts to listen or look for
  • To encourage introspection and personal reflection: listening to music and observing art gives students time and space to process their thoughts and emotions
  • To encourage articulation and expression of thoughts and feelings through the creation of art and music
  • To create a new generation of music and art lovers


  • Unit 1 is an isolated introduction Classroom Lesson that classroom teachers will do on their own with the students before the first videoconference.
  • After Unit 1 the structure of each unit will be:
    • Videoconference with ACO musician introducing each unit
    • Lesson delivered by classroom teacher exploring the corresponding unit’s Classroom Lesson on the website
    • Art activity
  • The end-of-year culmination of the curriculum will be a final videoconference with an ACO musician performing original musical compositions written by the students.

Time Commitment

  • Each VC will last 20-30 min
  • The classroom lesson can be completed in a minimum of 45 minutes.
    • The teacher lesson plan outline will guide you through the basic forty-five minute class. If you have more time, listen to more examples and/or for longer.
    • If you have more time, certain units have bonus extension lessons (entirely optional).
    • The website is meant to be a vast resource of information. There are links embedded for the biography of every composer and artist’s name as well as for other interesting or pertinent websites.  If you have more time, you can explore some of the complimentary information provided.
    • If your classroom or library is set up in a way that allows students to have individual access to a computer, bookmark the website and encourage individual listening and exploring.
    • Give the website address to students and their parents so they can explore together at home.
  • The Art Activity can be completed with simple materials in a minimum of 45 minutes.
    • If you have more time, consider creating more elaborate artworks that can be displayed in the classroom, school or beyond.

Teacher Learning
Teachers will be given resources and teaching ideas to increase their confidence to communicate core concepts of the Music and Visual Arts curriculums.

  • All units contain a Teacher Lesson Plan Outline and an In Detail explanation of the lesson plan that will guide you through each unit. The In Detail explanation often has links to other articles and lesson plans as well, as an extra resource.  A background in music or art is NOT necessary to teach this curriculum.
  • Teacher Lesson Plan Outlines and In Detail explanations are also available to download as PDFs.

Listening to music on the website
The best tool to listen to the musical examples on the website is Spotify.  It is free, just sign up for an account.  When you open Spotify (it will run discretely in the background on your computer) all of the music files can play directly from the website.  If your school has a firewall that blocks Spotify, there are youtube links for every musical example as well.

Student Workbook
This is a downloadable resource for students to record their own reflections, ideas, doodles, and drafts.  The workbook is optional with one exception: it will be used in the videoconferencing sessions of Unit 7.  These pages can be printed separately.

Student Art Gallery
We encourage you to create art works that can be hung up around your classroom or displayed in your school and beyond.  In addition, if you take photos of the art and email them to your musician, we will post and display them on the website’s Student Art Gallery.