Monochromatic Music

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The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso is a great image to teach students about mood.  Since mood is also a term used in music, I use this opportunity to draw comparisons to help illustrate the art concepts.

I discovered some guitar tracks in Garageband useful to help the students make the connection between mood in art and music.  I begin to play the guitar sounds and have the students give a thumbs up or thumbs down if they think the music mood matches the visual mood of the painting. The kids really get a kick out of this exercise and it helps reinforce the concepts.

Click on the audio below to hear the tracks I play for my students:
Guitar Sound 1
Guitar Sound 2
Guitar Sound 3
Guitar Sound 4
Guitar Sound 5

Paul McCartney was also inspired by “The Old Guitarist”. Watch Two Fingers below:

Can’t see video above? Click here.

Theresa McGee

Hello! My name is Theresa McGee and I am a National Board Certified Art Teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator teaching in Hinsdale, Illinois. My curriculum is structured around creative thinking and technology integration into the learning process. I have authored eighteen articles for the Tech4ArtEd Column in SchoolArts Magazine and several iTunes U courses for professional development. I've presented at the state and national levels including several online webinars for art educators. In 2010, I was awarded Illinois Elementary Art Educator of the Year and in 2011 I was awarded the national PBS Teacher Innovator award. I love to share ideas that contribute to the art education profession!

1 Comment

  • November 26, 2010


    I recall teaching a second grade class a lesson about “Mood in Art” and used the “The Old Guitarist” to illustrate how color can convey mood. To start the lesson, I held up a large reproduction of the painting in front of the class and ask “How does this painting make you feel?” One boy named Felipe immediately raised his hand. I said “Okay, how does this painting make you feel Felipe?” He blurted out “I feel fine!” Since then, I always think of Felipe when I see this painting.

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