Listen and Doodle
Listening to soothing music and drawing can help calm the nervous system, access inner knowledge, and release thoughts and feelings. This can also help us attune and respond to the elements of music: rhythm, pitch, harmony, tempo, dynamics, and so on.
Drawing utensils (i.e., crayons, coloring pencils)
Speaker (for pre-recorded music)
Live or pre-recorded music
Prepare the space by tidying up or putting away anything that is not needed for the activity, then set up paper and coloring utensils.
Take some deep breaths to settle into the experience.
Warm-up the body by "doodling in the air." Use your hands, arms, and legs. What would it be like to doodle with your head? Or to doodle with your knees?
Return to your seat (or standing desk) and start to listen to the music. You do not have to find the music particularly enjoyable or entertaining, but tune into it and notice what you hear. What is the instrumentation? What is the mood?
Knowing that your drawing is not going to be judged and criticized and that you do not have to draw a picture of anything in particular, start to doodle on the page. It might be helpful to start just by identifying a color that is calling out to you, or doodling with your non-dominant hand. Try to befriend yourself in the process, and welcome any "mistakes" with acceptance and trust.
Continue on for as long as you would like. You can use multiple papers or additional materials as needed. As the music evolves, let it continue inspiring you or just be with you as a gentle guide.
Optional: in the end, write some words or phrases that come to mind on your doodle, or give it a title.
Optional: take five minutes to free write about the experience. What did you feel? What did you discover?
Optional: share with a friend about your experience. As they talk with you, remember not to judge the artistic quality of the doodles. And as you share, remember that you can disclose as much or as little as you would like to about any emotions or memories that may have arisen. Keep your partner in mind as you share ("how might my words or actions impact my partner?").
To close, thank your paper(s), your coloring utensils, your partner, and the music you heard. Take a quiet moment to remember some of the music as you gaze at your doodles. If your images are something you would like to keep, store them safely. If you would like to get rid of them for any reason, feel free to do what feels right, including ripping them up, crumpling them up, or gently placing them to rest in a recycling bin.