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Mondrian Music and Art Project for Kids

Mondrian Art and Music Project for Kids

I didn’t realize how much Piet Mondrian was influenced by the music of his day, jazzy blues called Boogie Woogie. I was more familiar with his simple geometrical shapes and primary colors (blue, red, yellow) that he used to express reality, nature and logic. This piece, the Boogie Woogie, takes the beat of jazz and turns it into a geometric design.

Let’s learn about Piet Mondrian:

Mondrian, who had escaped to New York from Europe after the outbreak of World War II, delighted in the city’s architecture. He was also fascinated by American jazz, particularly boogie-woogie, finding its syncopated beat, irreverent approach to melody, and improvisational aesthetic akin to what he called, in his own work, the “destruction of natural appearance; and construction through continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm.” In this painting, his penultimate, Mondrian replaced the black grid that had long governed his canvases with predominantly yellow lines that intersect at points marked by squares of blue and red. These atomized bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, interrupted by light gray, create paths across the canvas suggesting the city’s grid, the movement of traffic, and blinking electric lights, as well as the rhythms of jazz. from MOMA

Mondrian art project for kids,

 

Mondrian: the Victory Boggie-Woogie

Mondrian: the Victory Boggie-Woogie

Here’s another video on Boogie Woogie music from the Smithsonian.com.

 

Mondrian influenced many other artists of his time including American Charmian von Wiegand.

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Charmian von Wiegand. American. 1899 – 1983. She was a good friend of Piet Mondrian and his geometric paintings strongly influenced her work.

 

What Are Components of Mondrian’s Work?

Pattern: a decorative design.
Primary Color: a color, such as  red, yellow, or blue, that yields other colors when mixed.
Quadrilateral: a plane figure having four sides and four angles.

Boogie Woogie music: an African American style of piano-based blues that became popular in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but originated much earlier, and was extended from piano, to three pianos at once, guitarbig band, and country and western music, and even gospel. While the blues traditionally depicts a variety of emotions, boogie-woogie is mainly associated with dancing.

Art (and Music) Project for Kids

  • Listen to any music that you like.
  • Use a ruler and paper to design quadrilateral shapes based on the music you hear.
  • Color it in using blue, red and yellow.
  • Use tempera paint, markers or crayons to color in the shapes.

These lovely examples are from my kids’ elementary school!

Mondrian for kids, Mondrian art project, art project for kid, master artists, abstract art project for kids

Mondrian, Piet Mondrian, Mondrian art project, art project for children, art and music project for kids, math and art project, STEAM project

 

Books on Mondrian for Kids to Explore

Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni

Primary colors blue and yell0w are best friends. What happens when they hug? This simple picture book was inspired by Mondrian’s work.

 

The Burglar Who Painted Like Mondrian by Lawrence Block

Bernie Rhodenbarr must solve a Who Dunnit mystery or be framed for the murder of his client. He will need to learn about Mondrian to solve this case!

 

Mister Orange by Truus Matti

Great book review by The Fourth Musketeer on Piet Mondrian’s life and recently translated from Dutch.

Mr. Orange, as adults might guess who see the American cover (the Dutch cover looks completely different, as is often the case), is none other than the famous Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, who has moved to New York to escape the repressive political environment in Europe.  With Linus’ older brother off at the war, Linus inherits his grocery delivery route, and, unable to remember his customer’s foreign name, dubs him Mr. Orange because of his twice monthly delivery of a box of oranges.  The two strike up an unusual friendship, as Mr. Orange shares with Linus his unusual perspective on life.  We learn, for example, how he attempted to capture in his work the raw energy of both boogie-woogie music and New York. from The Fourth Musketeer

Click on image to view at Amazon or go here to buy at Barnes and Noble.

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

24 Comments

  1. Do you know what? I thought the first image was Piet Mondrian’s image…..hahahaha! That means that it is quite good, I think. :) Very interesting post- I had no idea about how the music influenced the art!
    tricia recently posted…Kindergarten Homework Doesn’t LieMy Profile

    • Hi Tricia,
      I had no idea too until I started digging into research on Piet Mondrian’s work. The only one they have at the Museum of Fine Arts is that replica of Boogie Woogie so I figured it must be important. But I guess it makes sense. Artists do listen to music as they work I guess! I thought that music/art connection was fun too, and a way of connection kids to art since my teen loves music and art and her younger siblings love all that Top 40 music! It makes Modrian feel like someone they can relate too, I hope!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Family Vacation in BostonMy Profile

  2. Am delighted to know that kids are getting to know characters such as Piet Mondrian at an early age. Believe it or not I learned about Piet Mondrian while I was in high school.
    Viren recently posted…Best Email Marketing TemplatesMy Profile

  3. I think Mondrian is just a great artist for kids to study- and emulate. The graphicness, primary colors, and connection to music are all perfect ingredients to spark their creative interest.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Hooray for Crayon Rubbings!My Profile

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Mondrian is also one of those artists that anyone can emulate and feel successful at, not like the Old Masters where it is really challenging to reproduce or emulate their work. His work is so cheerful too! I’m glad that he’s a GO TO to study during art in elementary school. I hoped that adding in music would make kids want to try this at home too! What do you think? Mondrian-like paintings while listing to fun.’s We Are Young? I wanted to add their music video but the commercial before the video is really long and annoying with no option to shorten.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Family Vacation in BostonMy Profile

  4. A great artist for kids to explore! thx for sharing
    mari recently posted…10 Things To Tell Your Kids Before They Leave HomeMy Profile

  5. My son got to imitate Mondrian in preschool last year – such a fun artist for all ages!
    maryanne recently posted…India: At Large and Small Village LifeMy Profile

  6. I love Mondrian! I’m not sure I liked Mister Orange, I’ll have to read it again. Thanks for sharing at The Children’s Bookshelf.

  7. Mia, this is great! Such a meaningful and educational art project.
    linda recently posted…Cara Cara Orange-Earl Grey Tea CakeMy Profile

    • Hi Linda,
      I had fun learning about Mondrian and never realized his connection to music before. It makes sense though, I guess, because many artists like to play music while they work. It can’t help but influence them.

      I would love to see kids’ Mondrian-inspired artwork to their favorite music! If your kids do this, please send to me and I’ll include it in the post.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Picture Book of the Day: Booker T WashingtonMy Profile

  8. Wonderful blog–so important to integrate music and art into our children’s lives.
    Thank you!

  9. Thanks Mia,

    I knew preciously little about Mondrian and your post was so educational, even for an “old kid” like me.

    It is lovely how beautiful art is accessible with a teacher who is willing to explain.

    Thanks so much for the book tips!

    Oh, and Little Blue and Little Yellow looks lovely!

    Read Aloud Dad
    Read Aloud Dad recently posted…Warning! This Picture Book Might Change Your Child’s LifeMy Profile

    • Hi Read Aloud Dad,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed a little art history on Piet Mondrian. He seemed like a lovely person! I love the connection between art and music; it makes it more fun and I think kids can relate to music inspiring art. I know my kids are obsessed with music right now, even more so than art!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Does Your Daughter Want to Be a Model?My Profile

  10. Fabulous! Love that you combined art and music! Kids Get Arty is back again in two weeks time, do link up to that again too!

    Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty.

    Maggy

  11. Just to let you know I’ve featured this on The Sunday Showcase: http://www.herecomethegirlsblog.com/2013/03/02/the-sunday-showcase-art.html
    Rebecca from Here Come the Girls recently posted…The Sunday Showcase: ArtMy Profile

  12. Thank you for this great post! I love Mondrian and Boogie Woogie (actually I dance it ;-)). This is very inspiring and I know that my kids did study Mondrian’s work at school, but I guess without the musical aspect… I’ll use your post to fill the gaps. I would also like to add this link to another picture of Mondrian: the Victory Boggie-Woogie (I wanted to post a link to it here, but the system wouldn’t allow me)
    Ute (expatsincebirth) recently posted…Some similarities between German and DutchMy Profile

  13. What did you use for the black lines? I am preparing an art appreciation project for my son’s kindergarten class and would love to do a project like yours. Did you cut strips yourself and they glued them on or is it some kind of black tape?

    Thanks!
    Annie
    Annie recently posted…Review: Westmont YardMy Profile

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