• Music
  • Craft Materials

In this lesson, the children will learn to respond to music as a designer. They will think about how the music makes them feel and how this affects the marks they make with their pencil. You will also teach the story of Swan Lake and discuss the four main characters, and create an abstract visual response to one of them.

    Lesson Overview


    Students will understand how to respond to the feel of music. They will talk about how the music made them feel, what they think might be happening on stage, and how they have shown this on the page.

    Make sure they are working directly into their portfolio, or sticking in any work that might have been wet, as these will be important for them to come back to later in the design process. At the end of the lesson, tell them that the music they have been listening to is from one of Tchaikovsky’s most famous ballets, Swan Lake, and that we will be learning more about the story of Swan Lake next lesson. Remind them that listening to the music and responding to it is exactly what a designer would do if they had to design for the ballet or opera, so their drawings will be really important in the next few weeks.

  • The Story of Swan Lake

    20 mins

    This unit explains the synopsis of Swan Lake, one of the most beloved works in the ballet repertoire, and introduces themes from the story which will influence the children's set designs.

Musical Excerpts

Listen to these excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s score of Swan Lake, and see how the children respond to what they hear in their designs.