Teachers' resources

Teach art & music using the environment

Sights and sounds - interweaving art, music and environmental education

Throughout history, the environment has been a powerful source of inspiration for visual artists and musicians. From the prehistoric cave paintings at Lascaux, France, to Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite, to a modern-day kindergartner drawing lollipop flowers beneath a puff-clouded sky, nature had long found expression in sounds, shape, texture and color.

Art and music inspire environmental awareness and appreciation, too. "America the Beautiful," Vivaldi's Four Seasons symphony, an intricate sculpture, or a simple sketch all focus attention on the natural environment and inspire us to nurture and care for it.

You can make art and music part of your environmental education efforts in many ways. Drawing or painting helps children see and internalize detail in the world around them. Music evokes mental pictures of scenes in nature and reinforces the link between the outdoors and positive, uplifting feelings. Both art and music reinforce knowledge by helping embed concepts in young minds through the use of multiple senses.

Some ideas for weaving art and music into environmental education (and vice versa!):

(From Winter 2001 Interconnections)