by Amy Cholkas
Cellist and classically trained vocalist, Kate Wakefield was featured at February’s Evening for Educators, so I developed my lesson, “Stringed Instrument Collage” to connect music and art. After learning about the members of the violin family (violin, viola, cello and double bass), middle school students compared and contrasted the museum’s Still Life with Violin and Music Sheet by Juan Gris and The Cellist by Joseph Rodefer DeCamp using a Venn Diagram. Terms such as realism, abstraction, chiaroscuro, texture, timbre, collage and synthetic cubism were defined as students discussed how the lines, colors, textures, moods and subject matter of each piece compared. Finally, students created a music collage in the style of synthetic cubists, which included sheet music, drawings and/or paintings of a stringed instrument, faceted planes, student-created textures and real textures.
Additional connections in the lesson include K-8 picture and fictional books about stringed instruments, resources about the science and history of stringed instruments and links to hear music by violin family members. Please see click here for a copy of the lesson plan (under Evenings For Educators tab).
Image Left: Joseph Rodefer DeCamp (American, b.1858, d.1923), painter, The Cellist, 1908 oil on canvas John J. Emery Fund 1924.476
Image Right: Juan Gris (Spanish, b.1887, d.1927), painter, Still Life with Violin and Music Sheet, 1914 oil on paper collage on canvas Bequest of Mary E. Johnston 1967.11