Musical Notation Jack-O-Lanterns

By | 2017-10-30T18:41:50+00:00 October 21st, 2016|

I have seen this lesson done a few times strictly in music classes. I thought it would be an interesting collaborative arts integration lesson for music and visual art classes.

This festive lesson combines musical notation and observational drawing skills.  Students use their knowledge of musical symbols to create a jack-o-lantern face on a pumpkin drawn using observation skills and highlighting the art element of value.


musical notation



  • Pumpkins for observation
  • Paper
  • Pencils/Erasers
  • Chalk Pastels, Oil Pastels, or Paint


  • Review Musical Symbols: What are they? What is their function?
    • Rests, Notes, Clefs, Accidentals, and Flags
  • Review Value
    • Value: The lightness or darkness of an object or color.
    • Important components of value:
      • Light source: The lightest part of the object is closest to the light source. The light source may be seen in the work or imagined.
      • Drop shadow: Creates the illusion that the object is resting on a surface. It often replicates the shape of the object drawn and is opposite the light source.

Students will…

  • Draw the pumpkin, lightly with a pencil, using observational drawing skills.
  • Create a Jack-O-Lantern face out of musical symbols
  • Create a 3 dimensional effect with the symbols for more of a realistic look
  • Use chalk, oil pastels, or paint to create a gradation between the light and dark areas of the pumpkin’s surface.


musical notation


Feature this fun collaboration on a bulletin board in your school.  Not only does it make for an amazing display, but also features your arts integration efforts throughout your school. The more people see, the more they agree!

What festive arts integration lessons do you enjoy? Let us know in the comments below!

Lauren Hodson is a middle school visual and computer art educator in Plymouth, Massachusetts. As a mentor teacher and professional development presenter, Lauren is passionate about creativity and making art accessible for everyone. Her passions in STEAM and Arts Integration are at the root of her goal to collaborate with classroom teachers everywhere.

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