Draw That Sound

In this activity, students will work in small groups to draw along to music, creating a visual response. 

Draw That Sound

Draw That Sound

Contributed by Julia Sirna-Frist


In this activity, students will work in small groups to draw along to music, creating a visual response. 


  • Place large pieces of paper throughout the classroom, enough so that there will be about three students per sheet of paper.
  • Give each student a colored pencil or marker. Ideally, each student would have a different color.
  • Have each student choose a piece of paper. Then begin playing music.
  • Once the music begins, the students can draw what they hear. This can be done however they would like. They can use squiggly lines, dots, or figurative drawing related to the lyrics. Keep it open-ended.
  • Stop the music. Have students find a new paper.
  • Start a new song. Give the same instructions.
  • This can be repeated until all the pages are filled.
  • Once they are filled, line all the paper up and see what kind of musical mural has been created.
  • Reflect on what it felt like to create a visual response to music. Ask students: “How did it feel to add on to other people’s drawings? Are there any themes that emerge when you look at the drawings?”

Transition Into Activity

Ask students to get into a listening frame of mind. Maybe even start this activity with a short meditation.

Transition Out of Activity

If there is space, hang the mural on the wall. If not, roll up the papers and store them. Maybe everyone can cut out their favorite piece and take it home, or use it to decorate a notebook. Because the mural will be large, it could be used as a backdrop to display other artwork created in the classroom.

Classroom Arrangement

This activity can really take up space and spread throughout the room. Papers could be on the floor, walls, etc.

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Post a visual aid of different types of lines and patterns to support students with options.
  • Have adaptive handles and alternate arts materials available.
  • You could show a video with music if students cannot hear the music. 
  • Have noise-canceling headphones available.
  • Allow for students to work in pairs or small groups so they can support each other.
  • Post the paper on the wall for students who have fine motor challenges.

Possible Roles for Classroom Professionals

  • DJ and actively participate in the drawing activity as well. This could also be a student role. 

Adjustments for Remote Instruction

Each student has four colors. Each color represents one song. They use the same paper for all four pieces of music, creating one “mural” of the four songs together. Students can share these on-screen and you can take a screenshot of all the pictures, to create one giant digital mural.

Art forms



10 mins