SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design

Students listen to instrumental music and use washable paint and oil pastels to show how the music makes them feel. Then they cut out 3 small, 6-pointed snowflakes and glue them to the painting.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 2 to Grade 8


Visual Arts


abstract art contrast dodecagon line shape symmetry


Washable Paint Paint Brushes Construction Paper White Drawing Paper Scissors Glue Sticks Water Containers Palettes Paper Towels Tracing Paper


SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design - Step One

Step One

  1. Feel the music as you listen to it.
  2. When you are ready choose a colour and brush and start to paint.
  3. Make lines and shapes that show how the music makes you feel.
  4. Take your time.
  5. Let the music speak to you.
SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design - Step Two

Step Two

  1. View your painting as you listen to the music again.
  2. Add some accent marks with oil pastels.
SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Follow the instructions to cut out a 6-pointed star. (Downloads - SixPointedStar.pdf).
SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Keep the star folded and cut into the sides to make a snowflake.
  2. Make 3 snowflakes with different patterns.
SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Spread glitter glue on the snowflakes.
  2. Allow them to dry.
SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design - Step Six

Step Six

  1. Fold small pieces of paper (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm) into quarters.
  2. Place the snowflakes on the painting.
  3. Glue the folded paper to the painting under the centre of each snowflake so the snowflakes will be slightly raised from the paper.
  4. Apply a small amount of glue to the back of the centre the snowflakes and press them into place.
  5. Glue parts of the edges of the snowflakes to the painting and let the unglued parts sit out from the paper so they cast a shadow.
SNOWFLAKE MELODY – Painting To Music, Geometric Design - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. Place the finished painting on a clean surface.
  2. Imagine you can hear the music as you view your artwork with fresh eyes.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a mixed media abstract artwork inspired by a piece of music;
  • follow instructions to cut out a 6-pointed star;
  • turn three 6-pointed stars into snowflakes;
  • use lines and shapes to create movement;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the works. 


Have students:

  • work in small groups to arrange their artworks in a way that best reflects the music from beginning to end;
  • create a video that uses the arrangement as a backdrop and includes other creative elements to highlight the music, for example, stop motion animation; a dance/movement performance; shadow puppet performance;
  • share their videos with the class.


  1. Download and display the Contrast and Emphasis posters available on this website.
  2. Download the images of Bertram Brooker's painting, Sounds Assembling, 1928, and Wassily Kandinsky's, Yellow, Red, Blue, (1925) from the Internet.
    Bertram Brooker
    Wassily Kandinsky
  3. Review or teach dodecagons - 12-sided polygons.
  4. Download and print the 6-pointed star instructions - 1 per student. (Downloads - SixPointedStar.pdf)


  1. View and discuss the paintings, Sounds Assembling, and Yellow, Red, Blue without sharing the titles.
  2. Introduce the artist Bertram Brooker, and share a few points about him:
    - born in England in 1888, came to Canada in 1905
    - the first Canadian artist to exhibit abstract paintings (1927)
    - Brooker added perspective to his abstract compositions
    - he was also a writer, his first novel won the Governor General’s Medal for the best Canadian novel of the year in 1936
    - he was influenced by Wassily Kandinsky
  3. Introduce the artist Wassily Kandinsky, and share a few points about him:
    - born in 1866
    - Russian artist
    - had a special gift called synaesthesia cognate - a condition that meant when he heard a sound he also saw a particular colour
    - he used colours and shapes in his abstract paintings to express feelings and music
    - he painted the first non-objective painting called the First Abstract Watercolour, 1910
    - he thought each shape created specific feelings – square caused calm feelings; triangle caused aggressive feelings; circle caused heavenly feelings
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a mixed media abstract artwork inspired by a piece of music.
  2. Follow instructions to cut out a 6-pointed star.
  3. Turn three 6-pointed stars into snowflakes.
  4. Use lines and shapes to create movement.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity. 
  6. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works. 

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used lines and shapes to show how the music makes me feel
    - accurately cut out three 6-pointed stars
    - turned the stars into 3 different snowflakes
    - created a mixed media abstract artwork
    - interpreted the music
    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Encourage students to let the music speak to them.
  4. Discuss and demonstrate how adding colour to some parts of lines and shapes with oil pastels can create the illusion of depth.  
  5. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  6. Observe students as they work. 
  7. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Display the completed paintings as a body of work. 
  2. Ask students to view the artworks while the music is playing. From time to time stop the music and ask students to show where they see some aspect of the music. Remind them to support their ideas with evidence found in the work. Ask them, "What do you see that makes you say that?" 
  3. During the discussion include references to:
    ​- movement – How has the direction and flow of lines created a sense of movement?
    - space – How has the use of oil pastel added to the sense of space?
    - creativity – How does the composition reflect the uniqueness of the artist?
  4. Ask a few volunteers to share what they learned.
  5. Display the paintings in the classroom for several weeks.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their paintings – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – SnowflakeMelody_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – SnowflakeMelody_self-assessment.pdf)