little kandinskys

i’ll tell ya…children’s brains are amazing.  like little sponges they are. we discussed wassily kandinsky in museum masters class today and i can’t even describe how clever these little people are.  they eat the information up and then ask for more. and the stranger the fact, the more they like it (children after my own heart, i might add…) like, for example, we talked a lot today about how many scientists and psychologists believe that kandinksy had a condition called synathesia – which basically means that he could experience something with more than one sense. for example, he could hear a particular piece of music and immediately taste vanilla. or see a particular color and hear cello music. and not just in an imaginary, creative sense. he really saw them and felt them in a very real sense. apparently, when he was a child, he opened his first box of watercolor paints and heard a vivid hiss come from the paintbox that no one else could hear. he utilized this amazing gift in his artwork – listening to music while he created and turning those notes into the colors he saw in his brain.

during today’s class, i played different pieces of music for the kids and encouraged them to draw whatever the music made them feel like. and here, in this little group of first through fifth graders, i saw the most extraordinary capacity for creativity and depth of feeling. i played schoenberg’s op. 25 which, for those of you who have heard it, is very syncopated and quirky. the amazing artwork that came out of those kids’ pastels is unbelievably wonderful and the comments they were making were fantastic…the music simultaneously made students feel:

“like bubbles popping on needles”

“like bears’ paws on my back”


1st-3rd graders

“like fireworks in my ears”

“like eyeballs rolling around on a carpet”


3rd-5th graders

“like heartbeats on the outside”

“like dancing by myself”



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