Expressing Music through Art

Students will listen to different instrumental musical selections and use a variety of art techniques to make different kinds of marks that express the different feelings or movements suggested by the music that they heard. Students will take time to listen to the music with their eyes closed before using art materials to express what they hear in the music. There are suggested instrumental musical selections on page 3; other songs may be selected by the teacher.

This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.

This is an analytic rubric. The column on the left shows the dimension that is being measured in the student’s performance. The levels across the top row indicate the performance level in the dimensions. Occasionally all dimensions and performance levels are exemplified by multiple students in a single recording.


  • Dimension
  • Student used a variety of techniques (color, shape, line, and pattern) to communicate the music visually.

  • Student attempted to portray what they heard through their artwork.

  • In the assessment questions, student identified an emotion or line for each musical selection.

  • 1
  • 2
  • Student used the same techniques in the same way for each of the different styles of music.

    View Exemplar
  • Students used a variety of techniques to communicate the different styles of music.

    View Exemplar
  • Students did not use the materials provided to interpret the music that they heard.

    View Exemplar
  • Students creatively applied techniques and materials to visually interpret the music they heard.

    View Exemplar
  • Students did not circle a choice for an emotion or a line for the music, leaving their paper with no answers selected.

    N/A at this time.
  • Students selected an emotion and a line for the corresponding musical selections.

    N/A at this time.
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