Musical Mural

A huge, layered mural is created by the cohort as they work together to interpret and respond to musical influences. Students learn through experimenting with drawing and by responding to the techniques of their peers.


This activity was conducted in studioFive at MGSE as part of our Master of Teaching course.


  • Drawing as embodied experience
  • Body/Space relationships
  • Collaborative production
  • Emotional connection and response

Skills and Techniques

  • Drawing
  • Movement
  • Abstraction
  • Collaboration


  • Butchers paper roll
  • Coloured chalk and pastels


Before the class, choose three pieces of music that you would like the students to respond to.

Line a wall with butchers paper and invite students to find an area to work on. Let students select media and colours to work with and get set up in their area.

Play the first piece of music and give students some time to get into it. Ask students to begin drawing a response to the piece in their area and encourage them to use both hands to draw simultaneously. Try to continue the drawing until the music has concluded.

Give students a chance to step back and see the wall of drawing that they have created together.

Begin playing the second piece of music and ask students to find a new location, select new media/colours and begin responding to the music. Continue this exercise much like the first.

Again, give the students time to observe how the piece is evolving and how others have contributed to their original drawing area.

Start playing the final piece of music and ask students to select a single colour to work with. This time get students to walk/dance one by one across the wall, drawing as they move. Allow enough space between students so that they do not get in each other’s way.

After everyone has had a chance to contribute to the work take a step back. Ask students to observe the artwork as a whole and to investigate the levels of detail within it.

Art Connections

This activity introduces students to art responses to musical and emotional influences. The collaborative aspect lets artists learn from and react to the people around them.

VCD Connections

This activity opens up new possibilities in researching audience feedback to designs. Through exploring the artistic responses to music it encourages students to think beyond the written when asking audiences to evaluate their VCD work.

Related Artists

Next Steps

Following lessons can extend these concepts by:

  • This artwork was continued in the Painted Response activity.
  • Sections of the artwork can be cut up and used as backgrounds for lino or screen prints.
  • Lyrics or written responses to musical pieces can be written on top of the artwork.
  • Sections of the artwork can be scanned and used as a starting point for a poster for a band.