Synesthesia: Seeing the Sound

The FSO helps students visualize music

By Jonathan Kettler
January 24, 2018

Synesthesia: Seeing the Sound

 “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.”  - Wassily Kandinsky

In the 2016-2017 concert season, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra partnered with Woodburn on a project that integrated music with visual artwork and Social Studies content.  This project culminated in an event where students participated in an art show located in the Center for the Arts Building, the same night the FSO performed Beethoven’s first and ninth symphonies. Hundreds of Woodburn Elementary students and family members were in attendance of this show and stayed for the FSO’s concert performance. In the lobby where their artwork was displayed, a video of artwork made by students that acted as a visual map of Beethoven’s 1st symphony.  Many concert goers enjoyed viewing the student-created artwork.    

View this video below to see if you can tell how students used color and shape to visually express elements of the music such as pitch, and tempo, and mood. Then, head over to the FSO website to learn more about our collaboration,