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Use Music to Spark Kids' Writing Ideas

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

The Beat of Kids' Own


When I was in fourth grade, my art teacher, Mrs. Christensen, had us listen to Ride of the Valkyries . Then she handed out art supplies and told us to let the music inspire our artwork. I drew witches flying through the night sky battling fanged bunnies. I’m not exactly sure where the bunnies came from, but I suspect I subliminally recognized the music from an episode of Bugs Bunny called Kill Da Wabbit.

Anyway, that’s not the point of this story. After listening to that music and drawing the picture, I wrote a story about witches and vampire bunnies. That’s the point of this story. We never know where inspiration for stories might find us. And also that Loony Tunes were absolute genius.

More Musical Stories

Music has inspired other stories of mine as well. Specifically, THE GREAT PIZZA CONTEST. That one came about while I was driving my turquoise blue mustang and listening to a classical music mix tape a friend made for me (I have cool friends). While listening to Giuseppe Verde’s La Donna e Mobile. I started singing, “come-a down…come-a down…oh, please come-a down.”

Hmmm… how could I use that in a story was my immediate thought. (Because that’s what I ALWAYS think.). Maybe it’s a pizza guy who can’t get his dough off the ceiling after he tosses it in the air. And maybe he thinks dough is the most important part of the pizza. Hmmm… I liked it. But for a story to be a story, it needs conflict. So, I came up with another pizza maker who makes excellent sauce that he believes is the most important part of the pizza. And THE GREAT PIZZA CONTEST was born.

Crank up the Tunes and Get Creative

I always include a Writing 1-2-3 Guide in

all of the Seven-Way Story Adventures because I want to empower kids to be authors and illustrators of their own stories! But where can they get ideas for a story? How about using music as an inspiration. It can be a classical piece or classic rock (of course that depends on the lyrics, ahem). Who knows what kids will come up with when they're free to dance (and write!) to the beat of their own imaginations. What music do you think would be a good storytelling inspiration?

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