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ACO Music & Art: Lesson Five

In this lesson you will learn about abstract art, and how shapes are depicted in music and art.

Length of activity

  • 15 minutes + extra time for the art activity.

You will need

  • Blank paper and pencil
  • Screen or device, with access to the video below or click here to launch the video on YouTube
  • Art materials – blank paper, coloured pencils, pens or textas

Video lesson

Play the video below and follow instructions from Sharon - there is a physical game to complete. In the video Sharon suggests doing this with other people so if you have a brother or sister or parent you can do this activity with, go and get them! If you are on your own, it’s OK to do the activity by yourself.

After the game, Sharon introduces some different playing techniques on the violin. Write these down on your blank paper as Sharon talks about them. You might also like to write a brief description of each technique (or have a look at the additional information sheet for descriptions).

You might also like to watch the video ‘Karen meets the String Family’ (from Lesson Two) again to learn more about string effects such as pizzicato, tremolo and harmonics.

karen meets the string family

music listening Activity

Listen to some of Anton Webern’s Bagatelles below and listen out for some of the string effects and shapes created in the music.

Which of the following string effects do you hear?

  3. ARCO
  5. MUTE


Art Activity

Have a look at the following abstract paintings by Wassily Kandinsky. Kandinsky lived at the same time as the composer Webern and his artworks are similar, in the use of abstract shapes, to the music you listened to above. Consider the way Kandinski uses shapes, colours and lines in his paintings.

Kandinsky, Succession

Kandinsky Succession


Kandinsky, Composition VIII

Kandinsky Composition VIII


Kandinsky, Composition X

Kandinsky Composition X


Now for your artwork, choose one of Webern’s Bagatelles from above, and create an abstract artwork to reflect shapes in the music in the style of Kandinsky. Draw or paint the shapes, colours and lines that you hear in the music.

Share your artwork with us here.


Additional information

Click here to find additional information about the content of this lesson.


Continue to Lesson Six Lesson