Paint to the Music

Feeling & Expressing
Feeling & Expressing

For participants to use their creativity and paint while listening to different types of music and songs.


  • Paper for participants to paint on
  • Paint brushes (different sizes if possible)
  • Paint (different colours; pencil crayons, crayons, or markers could work as well.)
  • Cups with water for participants to rinse out their paint brushes
  • Newspaper to put down on the table
  • Music (classical is good because it has soft tempos and then fast and intense tempos) and audio equipment


Have paper, a paint brush (or multiple) and paint nearby for each participant.


  1. Explain to participants that you will be playing music and they are to paint depending on how the music makes them feel, and what comes to mind as they listen to the music.
  2. Choosing classical music or music scores are good choices because there are no lyrics and it has different tempos, speeds, intensity, instruments and more. 
  3. Tell participants to make this more of an abstract painting, so painting lines or shapes, and changing how they look depending on the music.
  4. For example, if they music is soft and slow, then the lines may be flowing and soft, but when the music gets more intense, the lines can become bigger and more pointed. 
  5. Play various songs and allow the participants to paint freely on the piece of paper. You could give each participant two pieces of paper, so they can paint two different songs or just to paint more.
  6. At the end, ask participants if and how they painted differently for the different types of music.


  • Can use pencil crayons, crayons and markers instead of paint.
  • Play any music that you feel would work best.
  • It may not be possible for participants who are deaf to hear the music being played. Consider playing music with heavy bass so that these participants can physically feel the vibrations, otherwise, encourage them to paint or draw based on how they are feeling anyway.


  • Let participants know ahead of time that anything discussed will remain confidential unless leaders feel that they or someone youth know is not safe.


  • How can we determine that a song is happy or sad withou without the words?
  • What sort of colours do you think of when the music feels sad? Happy?

Obtained from: