HCOF Creativity Prompt: Draw a Song

May 19, 2020

Our Holland Community Opera Fellowship (HCOF) is committed to being a creative and artistic resource to our community. Usually this takes many forms and Opera Omaha's HCOF Fellows (Gwenna, Jared, Kate, and Kaitlin) lead creative workshops and programming for all ages. Since we can’t be in the community in person, we’ve adapted and created a few of our #HCOFCreativityPrompts for your use at home. Each weekday we’ll post a different prompt on our blog and share on our social media platforms. These activities can be done alone or with others. Creativity is not just for kids, and these prompts are written for a wide variety of audiences so feel free to modify as needed!

Draw a Song

What would your favorite song look like if it was a drawing? Take some time to listen, draw, and find out!

Time to complete
5-20 minutes

Drawing supplies, paper, your favorite song and a way to listen to it.

Listen to the song you have chosen. Close your eyes and really listen. Try to visualize what the sounds you hear might look like. This can be literal or abstract. If you’re stuck, try asking yourself some of these questions:

  • What colors are in your imagination when you listen?
  • What shapes do you see?
  • Are there loud and quiet parts? What do you think you could draw to represent those?
  • Do any instrument sounds stand out to you? What do they look like?
  • How do you feel when you listen to the song? How could you represent those emotions and incorporate them into your drawing?

Play your song on repeat! As you begin to draw, remember you aren’t looking for perfection. Start with something small then add to it, bit by bit. Start anywhere on your paper! Remember, there are no wrong answers! If you work in small, bite-sized pieces, you’ll find your drawing will slowly come together. Remember, everything you draw is art, even if you don’t immediately like it.

Optional Add-On
Many composers write down their music in the way you have just done! This is often called a graphic score, or graphic notation (see examples below). Music doesn’t just need to be written down in one way. If you were composing your own song through drawing, what would it look like? Try it out!

Learn more about graphic notation
Here are a few beautiful examples of graphic scores:
Example 1
Example 2

Sharing Suggestions
Send your drawing to family and friends! Challenge someone to draw their own favorite song. Comment on this activity’s Facebook post or tag @OperaOmaha in an Instagram Story with #hcofcreativityprompts.


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